This weekend, IBF/WBA Super Middleweight champion Carl “The Cobra” Froch returns to the ring to face undefeated George Groves in a mandatory defense of Froch’s IBF world title, a belt he won when he defeated a then undefeated Lucian Bute. The build up to the fight has been met with a war of words between the two fighters, and while Froch clearly has his eyes set on his upcoming bout, another fight of much bigger significance looms if he can win his fight this Saturday.
During the 203rd edition of “ON THE ROPES” I had a chance to speak with Carl about his bout with George Groves and got his views on the challenge ahead of him and his thoughts on his opponent. Carl also spoke about the pre-fight banter from Groves and how he plans to answer back on fight night. Additionally “The Cobra” discussed a potential rematch with ring magazine Super Middleweight champion Andre Ward, and spoke in detail on what he thinks it would take to make a rematch and also on how he would fight Ward if he met him in the ring again. Here is what Carl Froch had to say in Part 1 of his interview.
Jenna J:Carl you have a fight coming up on November 23rd against George Groves, how’s everything been going in terms of your preparation?
Carl Froch: I’m fine as usual, I’m preparing diligently for this fight and taking it very seriously and I thoroughly expect to do good against George Groves. He’s young, he’s ambitious, he’s unbeaten, he’s got quite a high knockout ratio on his record, against limited opposition, but I gotta take someone with those credentials and fight quite serious.
I don’t like the guy, I think that’s been evident in the build up. He’s very disrespectful, arrogant and somewhat rude, which isn’t very nice. I’m prepared physically and mentally and I thoroughly expect to do the business on the 23rd of November.
Jenna: You mentioned that you don’t like him, you haven’t had that relationship with your opponents in quite a while. Why is George Groves different?
Froch:Because he’s arrogant, disrespectful and childish, and I don’t like people like that, that’s why.
Jenna:You also mentioned that Groves’ credentials weren’t the best to get a fight with you. What do you think of him as a fighter?
Froch: He’s unbeaten, he hasn’t fought anyone at world level, but with the people he’s fought, he’s done what he needed to do to beat them, so you got to give him credit from that point of view. I think he’s ranked number 5 with the IBF. He’s very sharp, so I’m expecting him to take this fight very, very seriously because it’s an unbelievable opportunity for him to catapult himself to world superstardom and level.
To be involved in such a big fight like this, of this magnitude, it’s massive for someone of his stature and his experience, so he’s probably gonna really take it deadly seriously, in fact he should be, but he’s also gonna get a serious whooping as far as I’m concerned.
Jenna: I’ve seen some of the interviews between you and him, why do you think he’s so arrogant, what makes him think he can beat you so easily?
Froch: I cannot tell you how another man’s brain works, he would have to tell you that. I just think the guy is rude, disrespectful and arrogant. Why is he all those things? I don’t know, maybe his mom didn’t bring him up very good. It’s not for me to know why, I just have to put him right on the 23rd.
Jenna:With this fight here, it’s obviously back in the UK yet again, this will be your fourth straight fight in the UK. You’re starting to get a little bit of buzz by doing that all the time now. Is this something we are gonna continue to see in the future or you gonna come back to our side?
Froch: I’d love to fight state side again, but the opponent has to be right. At the minute it makes sense to fight in the UK. Lucian Bute stupidly agreed to come to come to England and fight me, and we’ve seen what happened there. I think if Andre Ward decides to do the same, he’ll be getting the same treatment because that’s the only other fight I’d want in the UK.
I’m happy to come back to America, you know I fight on Sky Box office in England and it’s the best platform for boxing where regularly you’re making money, so while that is available in Britain, I’ll be staying in Britain, maximizing it. It took me a long time to get to this part of my career where I can make some serious money and reap the benefits of being a double world champion.
I’m a current four time world champion but i’ve got only two of the belts, two of the major belts. So I’m gonna defend in Britain against the opponents that they put in front of me. After this one, if there’s an opportunity to come to the US, I’d love to come over there and have a big fight, somewhere glamorous like Las Vegas cause I’ve never had an opportunity to fight somewhere like that. That’s something I would look forward to.
Jenna:Carl if you win the fight that you have with George Groves, do you think it will set up the rematch with Andre Ward?
Froch: Potentially. There is always going to be the “Carl Froch needs to rematch Andre Ward before he retires” saga. I don’t personally see it like that, cause if I fight Andre Ward again or not, I couldn’t care less. I mean, I have had a fantastic career, I’m a holder of two of the belts, and I’m in a good place right now with my career.
Whether or not I get a rematch with Andre Ward and get redemption with him doesn’t really bother me. The way in which he fights, the style in which he fights puts me off wanting to fight him.
Jenna: How would you go about fighting Andre Ward in a rematch?
Froch: It would be a very difficult nights work to beat Andre Ward especially in America, because he wins rounds, he nicks rounds, round after round he will do just enough to win. He is very clever in the way that he fights in which he nullifies his opponents, he fights on the back foot, when he’s out of range he’s too far out of range, he’s very skillful.
He’s very talented, don’t get me wrong, I’m not digging him out, he’s hard to beat, he’s awkward. He’s almost got a negative style and with that negative style, he’s very effective doing it, he wins, I’m not telling him to change it, but he does not excite me, and the way that he fights does not excite fans and television broadcasters.
Jenna: If fans want to see the rematch, and there is enough money in the fight, do you think it could happen?
Froch:I’m really not bothered if I don’t fight Andre Ward again, but if the fight is there, and if the fans want to see it and the television broadcasters put up the money to show it, then I’ll try to knock him out, because that is the only way I can beat him. It’s very, very difficult to beat Andre Ward on points because of his style, so if it’s there for me I will come with the game plan of trying to KO the guy and catch him with a good shot or a cluster of shots, because it’s very difficult to beat Andre Ward on points.
Jenna:Carl, do you think with your recent success, and the fact that you are a huge draw over in the UK, do you think you could tempt him to maybe fighting you over in England?
Froch: I don’t think so, no I don’t think he wants to fight in the UK, from what he’s said in the past I don’t think Andre Ward wants to fight me in the UK, simple as that. If he does want to fight me in the UK and he is serious about it, then we will talk about it after I do the business I know I can do against George Groves, let’s talk about getting this fight on in Britain worked out. I don’t know what else is out there for him.