Carl Froch: “Anthony Joshua is afraid of his own shadow these days”
Carl Froch spoke to Maniche from In The Zone podcast
The Cobra was on top form and spoke about an array of things in boxing, including Joshua-Wilder, slated for early 2024; Fury-Usyk in February 2024; as well as reflecting back on his world title clash with Mikkel Kessler in 2010.
Now 46, the Nottingham man is still very much involved in boxing and doesn't hold back when it comes to talking about the sweet science.
Anthony Joshua HAS to beat Fury or Uysk for his legacy
“The old AJ would make easy work of Otto Wallin, but I don't think Joshua’s heart is where it needs to be. I think he has lost belief and mentally he is not where he needs to be. The back-to-back defeats to Usyk were bad and I think cemented the damage from the Ruiz loss.
“He’s done a lot for boxing, he’s done a lot for the sport, he has put it back on the map. But in terms of his legacy and who he has boxed and who he has beat, he’s only a two-time heavyweight champion because he lost to Andy Ruiz and had to go to Saudi Arabia to get them back.
“But when you look at how many times he has beaten world champions, compared to the number of world title fights he had, he still has a lot to do to have his legacy cemented. He can only do it by beating Oleksandr Uysk in a third fight which no one needs to see, or by beating Tyson Fury which I just don’t think is going to happen anymore.”
Anthony Joshua vs Deontay Wilder
“Deontay Wilder knocks him spark out in one round, I’ve always said that and I still think it is true. Wilder would come out in the first round looking for AJ, who is tentative at the best of times, but he is now afraid of his own shadow these days. I think Wilder catches him with a bomb that lands on his chin and he goes down and just does not get up.
“Whether he can get up or not, he won’t want to. That’s the reason these two aren’t fighting now, because if that happens his career is over and the curtain comes down for good. However, if he gets his head right, he can definitely win that fight!
“He’s with Ben Davison now as his trainer, Rob McCracken should be his trainer because he would get his head right for that fight, but the respect has gone now so they will never get back together again.
“The old AJ that brawled with Dillian Whyte, knocked out Wladimir Klitschko after getting knocked down and busted up Carlos Takam after getting his nose butted can definitely win that fight and do a job there because Deontay Wilder and AJ has got the Olympic pedigree so he can go and outbox him.”
Fury would probably ‘outclass’ Joshua – I don’t want to see that fight
“AJ vs Fury I think is just boring; Fury would just his size, his height, his reach, his weight because he can box and do Joshua on the outside so he beats him really comfortably and it might be an outclassing job.”
I would be shocked if ‘troubled soul’ Tyson Fury actually fights Usyk in February
“Tyson Fury is out of shape, he’s saying all the wrong things, he’s being paid an obscene amount of money, but I have my reservations about that fight actually happening.
“Looking at where Fury is right now and what he is saying, the way he is behaving and the performance against Ngannou, I cannot see him getting in with Usyk and fighting him next.
“He’s volatile, but he is a bit wild and unhinged and saying the wrong things. I watched his Netflix series and he is a troubled soul. From what I see in Tyson Fury’s body language and what is coming out of his mouth, I would be shocked if he fights Usyk in February.
“There’s so much money on the table from the Saudis that maybe he thinks ‘sod it, I will take the fight,’ He’s made a fortune financially and he is in a good position. His current demeanour is disrespectful, it’s stupid and it is embarrassing.”
Saudi Arabia lost more than £100 million on Fury vs Ngannou
“It is all down to greed, I think. They’re getting as much money out of the system as they possibly can from the Saudis. Boxing purists and real fans know that the real fight on that card should be Deontay Wilder vs Anthony Joshua on December 23. They were talking about it seven years ago, it was meant to happen five years ago.
“They’re on the same card, on the same night and the promoter's greed is doing damage to boxing. But the Saudis are losing a lot of money on these cards; the last show that they put on was Ngannou vs Fury generated something like 60,000 PPV’s on ESPN+ and it grossed £16 million. It cost them £125 million, which means they lost £109 million and that is just not a sustainable model for one fight.
“These people that have got bottomless pits of money are basically coming into our sports and taking away our biggest fights. We’ve seen Anthony Joshua out there multiple times in heavyweight title fights and now the undisputed heavyweight title fight is out there in February.
“We’ve got an English fighter in the biggest heavyweight title fight in 1999 and it’s not even in this country, imagine how good that would be in Wembley Stadium. The Saudis have bought the show, they’ve taken it from us. Our beautiful sport of boxing is out there because of the money involved. I don’t think it is doing the sport any good.”
I lost a million quid fighting Mikael Kessler
“When we did the negotiations for the fight, which might have been stupid for me, but because I am an honourable warrior I didn’t want Mikael Kessler to think I had tried to get more money from him.
“It was on Sky Pay-Per-View, I had just had an amazing win over Lucian Bute and defended against Yusuf Mack and now we can rank in PPV points. They’ve not got much TV in Denmark, so a 60-40 split was arranged for the pay-per-view on Sky and they would bring their camera crew in and then we would split the rest of it up.
“I told Eddie Hearn, ‘Forget the 60-40 because you’ve got to try and negotiate that with Kalle Sauerland.’ So I turned around and told him to make it 50-50 down the middle because I just wanted to fight Kessler and get that win back.
“It might have been stupid of me and it probably cost me a million quid, but the fight was made straight away and there was no hanging around.
“We were proper friends, messaging each other away from the fight night itself, asking about each other’s families and training. At the weigh-in, I saw him change a little bit and he said he was coming for me. I didn’t want to half be friendly and confuse him or myself.
“I ended up getting fined by the British Board of Control because I said I was going to kill him, but it was meant metaphorically. That being said, I was going to try and kill him. Metaphorically, I would slit his throat to win because that win means everything to me.”
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