Carl Froch: I wanted to smash Groves’ head in so badly
I got cheered into the ring, and booed out, said the former WBA and IBF champion
Former WBA and IBF super-middleweight champion Carl Froch has told William Hill’s podcast, Up Front with Simon Jordan, that in his first fight with George Groves he just wanted to smash his head in, and wasn’t thinking clearly about technically boxing.
Featuring on William Hill’s Up Front with Simon Jordan, a podcast hosted by the former Crystal Palace owner who speaks to sports stars and celebrities and challenges their opinions whilst scrutinising their careers, Froch discussed his first fight with bitter rival George Groves, explaining that he just intended to hurt him rather than thinking about boxing cleverly: “If I’m honest I absolutely despised George Groves before the first fight, I wanted to smash his head in so badly. It was ridiculous because you can’t go into the ring thinking to yourself that you want to cave his head in because you need to be focused.
“In our first fight I was unprofessional, immature, a bit stupid, and I bit on every little thing he said. He was saying that I hadn’t beaten anyone, I was slow, not that good, I did everything wrong and I would be sitting there raging about what he was saying. He had me chomping at the bit and he had me fuming.
“After George Groves knocked me down in the first round, I went in to fight or flight, and I wasn’t really in control, but it was towards the end of the round which was good news for me because I needed the bell.
“When the referee brought us back together I was trying to hit him hard, I was pushing the gloves round my knuckle and really feeling it, and I had my hands clenched and I could really feel it, and I thought as soon as I connect with his chin he’ll be out cold, and I’ll say I told you so, because I really despised him. I can’t go into that mindset very often, but I can still go there with George, and sometimes when I look at him now and I tell him that I really didn’t like him.”
I got cheered into the ring and booed out
Froch also spoke about the aftermath of the fight in which he received a negative reaction as many felt the fight was unfairly stopped in Froch’s favour.
“The negative reaction to the nature of the stoppage made it feel like a loss, and it did upset me a little bit. I got cheered into the ring and booed out,” said Froch. “For me to walk to the ring, get flattened by George Groves in round one, and then get my head punched in for the next six rounds, and still be stood there in round seven, and then managing to force the stoppage, it should be respected. I didn’t do myself any favours at the end either because he came over to shake my hand and I told him to do one.
“I did the interview and probably didn’t do myself any favours again because I said it was a great stoppage by the referee, and when I walked back to the changing rooms someone shouted my name, so I looked round and he spat in my face. I was thinking, were you not entertained? That was one of the best fights in Britain for years. Okay the fight was stopped early but I didn’t stop the fight, the referee did. As I was walking back to my changing room, coins were hitting me on the head and one hit me on the bridge of my nose. As if I wasn’t bruised and battered enough!”
I wanted the rematch to set the record straight
Froch spoke on the rematch between him and Groves, stating that he wanted to set the record straight after the nature of the first fight, and that he had planned to retire after the fight before it had taken place.
“I wanted the rematch because I thought that I couldn’t retire with that as my last fight,” said Froch. “People would go through the rest of my career and say that I was lucky and it was a robbery. The rematch was going to set the record straight for me.
“It was such a conclusive finish to the rematch, and that was down to the preparation. I rendered him unconscious in front of 80,000 people. When that punch landed I knew he wasn’t going to come back, because the right hand couldn’t have hit any harder, and for that to be my final punch of what was an amazing career in front of all those people at Wembley.
“The only thing I regret about retiring is not telling Rob McCracken earlier because I had already made my mind up. I could never see myself retiring because I loved the sport, but before the rematch I had already decided. I interviewed Rob a couple of days ago and he said he knew I was going to retire because I was coming in to fight week smiling and I was nice to be around, which I usually wasn’t.”
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