Wednesday, 29 April 2009
Focus on your goal. But not too hard.
The WBC World Middleweight championship was by no means a given result but Taylor, the American, was talking it up big: he wanted to put Froch "to sleep". And so it was that Froch in the last round was staring at a 106-102 deficit and although he'd been knocked down (for the first time in his career) but not put to sleep it was all over bar the shouting.
But it wasn't. Froch said later in an interview (radio 2, Chris Evans, 29-4-09) that as long as there was one round left he was in the fight. He knew he had to do something special: knock Taylor out or stop him dead a couple of times, and his trainer, rather than putting pressure on him and telling him to knock the guy out, said he needed a special round...
Froch rocked the challenger but maintained that he didn't want to rush straight back in instead he literally boxed clever and finally clobbered Taylor with a "booming right" leaving him on jelly legs. The fight was stopped with seconds to go. Good job too looking at Taylor's eyes rolling in his head. Technical Knock Out to Froch.
Amazing example of keeping one's cool and not grasping at victory. Often that final grasping can be the undoing. I've been in fights when I've been winning (just) and lost it all by flailing at it, not seeing the clarity of the situation. Equally if you're behind, like Froch was, it's good to see the opportunity of a last round, a last few minutes to box clever and still be able to do the job. As Froch proved it's not over till the fat lady sings, bows and heads off for the changing room to tuck into the pies.