sport

Flawless Froch flattens Mack

Carl Froch retained his IBF super-middleweight title in style in his hometown of Nottingham, stopping Yusaf Mack inside three rounds.

'The Cobra' was at his venomous best at the CapitalFM Arena, knocking his American opponent down in the very first round to suggest it would be an early night.

After a quiet second round Froch found a way to put Mack away in the closing stages of the next, juddering body shots sending his rival to the canvas.

Mack - who had boiled down from light-heavyweight for the chance to become a world champion - did briefly attempt to rise to his feet again, only for the pain to become too much. He sunk back down to the floor to be counted out with 30 seconds remaining in the round.

It was another successful night in his own back yard for Froch, who was back at the scene of his superb demolition job on Lucian Bute in May.

Unlike his last outing the 35-year-old was a heavy favourite against Mack, a fighter who had a decent 31-4-2 record and was always thought to be somewhat dangerous considering his Philadelphia roots.

However, Froch simply took his opponent apart. Not worried by anything coming back, he recorded an early knockdown with one of several left hooks that landed in the opening round.

From then on, it became a matter of when, not if, Froch would triumph. The shot that hastened the end was a lunging right that hit right under the ribs. It was followed by a left to the opposite side of the body, while two glancing blows to the head put Mack almost on his back.

The challenger desperately tried to suck in enough air to continue, but the wind had been taken completely from him.

A rematch with Bute is set to be next for Froch, although on this evidence the Canadian-based Romanian might not be so keen to stick to the contract. Instead, a second shot at Mikkel Kessler or Andre Ward - the only two to administer defeats to the Brit in his career - could be scheduled for 2013.