Originally Posted by Tin_Ribs
Abraham is the highlight of Froch's career after Bute imo. Clearly so. Who are the other three fighters who Froch has beaten that stand so clearly above Abraham in your opinion?
Dirrell? Maybe, but I thought Froch lost that one, and Dirrell isn't a good fighter in the scheme of things imo. Bad style for Carl though, so you have to credit him for forcing the fight at least and gritting it out. Compare it crudely to Hatton-Collazo if you like, though Hatton had already started to tail off by that point and was fighting in a weight class where he was ineffectual.
Bute? Froch's best win, no doubt.
Taylor? About on Abraham's level imo, though obviously with a different style and different strengths/weaknesses. Again, stylistically not a good match for Carl, but with various clear failings similar to the accumulated ones of Abraham, Bute and Dirrell which include average punch resistance, poor stamina, questionable mental fortitude and limited technical ability. The manner of victory was exciting and gutsy on Froch's part, but if Taylor had managed to hang on in the last round? Froch has another clear defeat on his record to a declining fighter who had overachieved in the first place imo.
Before the Abraham fight it was a question to me of whether or not Froch's confidence had been damaged and if he could handle Abraham's power, because they were the only two major potential stumbling blocks. The rest of the important advantages were with Froch: the jab, the range control, the work rate and the strength. He employed a very basic strategy that Abraham no answer to, and though he (Froch) quite impressed me, I came away more underwhelmed by Abraham despite feeling quietly confident beforehand that Froch would get the job done.
Pre-fight odds often surprise me tbh and are given too much credit post-event for my liking when you consider in a case such as this that they've just been empirically debunked. You mentioned Calzaghe-Lacy, which was another one I picked correctly, though it was more impressive than Froch-Abraham to my eye for a couple of reasons.
Hatton was pretty unimpressive (and past his best) against a vaguely Abraham-level fighter in Urango (slightly below Abraham I'd say), and still dominated him despite Urango making more of an effort than Abraham did imo. That it isn't considered a brilliant win should shed a bit of light on how Froch-Abraham is considered.
I don't want to go tit for tat over this, because I don't think there's much between them, if anything, and have already said that Froch's career deserves more respect than Hatton's. I just happen to think - with good justification - that it isn't nearly as clear cut as people like to make out. Froch's opponents other than Ward and maybe old Kessler aren't really a good bunch; it's more the fact that he took them all on consecutively, travelled to do it and came back excellently from defeat in the process.
Edit: Stating Mack as a credible win for Froch is laughable whichever way you stack it. Pascal and Johnson are pushing it a bit, though not entirely without merit. We might as well include Oliveira and the like.
First off, I didn't state that Mack was a credible win, I just listed off every fighter during each guys major run. There's some guys under Hatton's name that aren't all that credible either but I was merely listing everybody during their runs. I considered ranking all those guys (in my own opinion of course), and Mack would have been at the bottom
Before we discuss where I think we got mixed up on the topic...I think some of your Froch resume evaluation is a bit unfair. He could have had another clear loss on his resume if Taylor made it out.....but he didn't. I personally don't hold something against Froch that didn't happen. Also, you're striking on the Dirrell fight because you thought Dirrell won...which is fair. I can see why you think that. However, I think in the interest of being objective on evaluating between fighters you unfortunately have to go with the judges in close fights, and only invoke the "I had him winning" clause in clear outlandish robberies (Campillo!). Because anyone with an agenda can say "oh, I had Hatton losing to Collazo and really he was saved by the ref against Lazcano and I had Froch beating Kessler and Dirrell".
I think we might be talking about different things. It seems you might be analyzing Froch's best wins (where I believe you can make a very strong case that Abraham is the 2nd best win in certain lights) whereas I was talking about the quality/rating of the opponent. Basically, in terms of how I feel Abraham(circa 2010) would do "against the field" at 168...lets say against the top 15....there are several fights that I have no confidence that he would win. And I'm not sure if there are any fights that I have any significant confidence in. As a fan of AA, I certainly would be nervous even against the likes of Balszay, Sartison, Magee etc. I'd be nervous again in a rematch with Stieglitz.
Now, I feel much better about Dirrell's chances against the field. I also feel better about Pascal(200
chances against the top 15 of 2008 than I would about Abraham. Basically, since you were evaluating Froch's opponents to his weaknesses, I was evaluating how I think each of those fighters would do against a wide range of opponents.
As a fan of Abraham, I accept all of his limits. He's caught in weight limbo. He's too big to make 160 and too small to really compete much at 168 without any superlative skills to overcome the size difference, and worst of all, his power hasn't quite carried up with him to be his saving grace. Though I think you are right to have him ahead of Urango the similiarities are there.
At the end of the day, his legacy will be as a pretty good middleweight, and a pretty mediocre supermiddleweight. However, and I think we agree on this, it shouldn't take away that Froch emphatically dominated him.