Oakland's Andre Ward has sailed unscathed to the finals of Showtime's Super Six super-middleweight tournament, but WBC champion Carl Froch of England has been the most impressive 168-pounder over the past three years. Froch has one more hurdle to clear in the semifinals against 42-year-old Glen Johnson Saturday in Atlantic City to set up a bout with Ward in the fall, but he is supremely confident to say the least.
After listening to Johnson's trainer, Orlando Cuellar, predict that his man will stop Froch, the English champion responded as aggressively as he plans to fight.
"Glen Johnson's trainer is delusional," Froch said.
"He's not only not going to win the fight, he's not going to win a round. I'm too fit, too strong, too young, too fresh, too hard and too skillful. I'll be concentrating every second and every minute of that fight. It will be a dominating performance."
Judging from his recent record, it's difficult to doubt Froch. His emergence began about a year before the Super Six tournament came together when he won the WBC belt from Canadian Jean Pascal, who later won a light-heavyweight title.
Froch then fought for the first time in America, stopping Jermain Taylor in the 12th round. Although Taylor was part of the original Super Six cast, that bout took place before the tournament and was worth no points to Froch.
Froch (27-1, 20 KOs) began Super Six action with a split decision over Andre Dirrell, then lost a unanimous decision to Mikkel Kessler in his hometown in Denmark before rebounding with a dominant decision over Arthur Abraham in Finland.
When Kessler had to drop out of the tourney with an eye problem, Froch regained the vacant WBC belt against Abraham.
"Everybody talks about the loss to Mikkel Kessler," Froch said. "That fight could have gone either way . . . Winning the belt back off Arthur Abraham was very gratifying mainly because it was satisfying to get the belt back from the same promoters in Denmark.
"To go to Finland and totally dominate Arthur Abraham round after round was very satisfying."
Johnson (51-14-2, 35 KOs) can't be taken lightly as he showed in entering the tournament as a substitute for Kessler and then stopping Allan Green.
"He has to be crafty at 42," Froch said. "He's very tough and strong. I've got what it takes to outbox him. I'm confident I'm going to totally outclass him."
With one eye on Ward at the end of the Super Six gantlet, Froch will be tough to stop.