(transcribed by Michael Readman) Super middleweight world champion Carl ‘The Cobra’ Froch is coming off an impressive knockout win over UK rival George Groves. The fight saw Froch, now 36, come from behind once again and come away with one of his most defining moments of his boxing career, and showing once again why many consider Froch to be one of the top 10 fighters pound for pound in boxing.
In part 1 of this special “On The Ropes” interview (sponsored by IBO BOXING), Carl Froch gives insight into his latest win over George Groves. Carl speaks in detail about all the major events in the bout, including George Groves’ strategy, Froch’s decision to attack the body, and of course the big right hand that ended the night. Lastly, ‘The Cobra’ shares his feelings on getting a clear and decisive win, and what it feels like to put this rivalry to rest. Here is what Carl Froch had to say.
Jenna J: Carl, I’d like to congratulate you on your impressive and definitive victory over George Groves. How do you feel?
Carl Froch: I feel elated, very, very satisfied is the main word especially given the controversy of the first match and then the torrid time I’ve had in the build up, actually in the first and second match because of George Groves’ antics and attitude.
Although I didn’t pay him much attention in the second fight, there was a lot of pressure to do the business conclusively in front of 80,000 fans. The pressure was on and I feel like the weight of the world has been lifted, but I am the happiest man in the west, let me tell you.
Jenna J: Do you think that when it’s all said and done, that people will remember this fight with Groves as one of your defining moments?
Carl Froch: Oh definitely yeah, purely because of the magnitude of the whole event. The fact that it had captured the public’s imagination — maybe not so much in the United States but certainly on these shores over here in Europe and definitely in Britain.
Everybody seemed to be watching the fight, talking about the fight prior to it, and since then I seem to have became a national hero, which is very, very nice. I used the word “satisfying” earlier, it was a very, very satisfying victory and the manner in which I got him out of there with that crushing right hand to the chin and knocked him spark out. I couldn’t have wrote a script better if I’d have tried.
Jenna J: Early on in the fight George Groves was boxing and it had a much different feel to the first fight. Could you tell the difference to his approach the second time?
Carl Froch: I think he went in there with a game plan to maybe go the distance and do the twelve rounds, because he knew that a lot of people said he hasn’t got a twelve round engine. I think he started a little bit more cautiously but that was probably because of my tactics — I didn’t take a step backwards, I took the center of the ring and I met him when he came and I wasn’t going back in straight lines.
My tactics meant that he wasn’t able to do what he usually would do. If I had been as lazy and lackadaisical in my approach as I was in the first fight, he’d of got confidence and started to come forward and let his shots go, but I was too tenacious, and aggressive and offensive and too aware early on to allow him to get into his rhythm. I totally threw him out of his game plan I think from the start and he wasn’t able to get into any sort of rhythm, which threw him really.
Jenna J: Carl, in the fourth round you started hitting the body. When did you decide to go after his body?
Carl Froch: Three months earlier at the very start of the training camp. We decided to go to the body because that will slow him down, and that was the plan.
Jenna J: The fifth round you dominated, the sixth round you won clearly, the seventh round was a little bit closer, then we get to the eighth round. Talk about your feeling in that one.
Carl Froch: I was just implementing the tactics. The tactics were to take the center of the ring, back him up behind a sharp jab and meet him as he comes. He didn’t come that much, he came to sort of box and move and he wasn’t being very offensive because every time he came to be offensive, I met him and he didn’t like what he saw and what he got.
Round eight was about me backing him up more, putting pressure on him and cutting the ring off, cutting the very small ring off — which was a tactical decision we made to get a smaller ring because he was probably going to run — and nicely wore him out with body shots early on and backed him up. I took a few more shots because I was closing the distance, I was getting to him and putting him under pressure.
Jenna J: Lets talk about the big shot, the right hand that ended it. Did you know right when that made a connection on his chin that it was over?
Carl Froch: No, I knew it was over when I looked back to see the effect it had. To be honest, when it landed, it was one of those shots that I threw so correct and so precise, I was just relaxed. I didn’t load up, I didn’t look for the knockout. I threw a little feint and then I threw a range finding left hook which cocked the bullet for the ammunition if you like, it was loaded for the big right hand.
I was just nice and relaxed, nice and comfortable and it connected perfectly on the jaw at the perfect point and it was one of them where I didn’t load up, I didn’t look for it, it was just effective, I caught him flush, lovely.
I did think he was gonna get up, but then when I looked back over my shoulder to see what he was looking like when I went back to the neutral comer, I realized that his leg was folded behind the back of his neck and he was all awkward on the floor and he didn’t look good. I knew then that the fight was over.
Jenna J: How did it make you feel that there was no controversy this time, and no questions about it when the referee stopped it?
Carl Froch: It was just the best feeling of elation I’ve ever had in my whole life. It was one of the best punches I’ve landed, one of the most satisfying punches that I’ve landed in my whole career and to finally put the George Groves saga to bed in such emphatic style, on such a massive platform. I cannot explain how satisfied, happy, elated and proud of myself that I am.