Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Boxing

Carl Froch: Retirement an easy decision to make

By Mark Staniforth

Carl Froch still has "fire in the belly" and an unquenched desire to see his name in lights above the Las Vegas Strip, but he insists retirement is his only option after spending a year out of the ring.

The 38-year-old had hoped for a spectacular swansong in the world's fight capital but an elbow injury put paid to a prospective showdown with Julio Cesar Chavez and effectively convinced Froch his time was up.

Announcing his decision to call time on his career in the ring yesterday morning, four-time World champion Froch admitted: "I think the desire has gone."

Froch will leave the sport with a reputation for chasing down the toughest opponents and attracting a post-War record crowd of 80,000 to Wembley for last May's rematch win over domestic rival George Groves.

Froch said: "I'm incredibly proud of what I have achieved in boxing but now is the right moment to hang up my gloves.

"I have nothing left to prove and my legacy speaks for itself.

"I've no regrets. I'm not retiring undefeated but in many ways that's better because I've faced every challenge.

"So many athletes, not just boxers, don't get their defining moment. I've probably had seven or eight defining moments, but the biggest and best was on the platform of Wembley Stadium in front of 80,000 fans. It was amazing and to get that defining moment is enough."

Froch had toyed with the idea of retirement in the wake of his definitive win over Groves, turning down the prospect of a fight with another British rival, James DeGale, and making it clear he would only fight again if he could head to Vegas.

But after injury robbed him of that final opportunity the Nottingham hero was instead forced to look elsewhere and he announced he will join the Sky Sports team as a boxing pundit.

He said: "If I could fight again physically I would, but mentally I'm not sure. I think the desire has gone.

"There will always be options and it's never going to stop. There's always going to be somebody next in line or ready to try to take my scalp.

"And if that's never going to go away, at what point do you say, 'Right, now is the time to retire', based on challengers and opponents?

"I feel civilised now. I feel like Carl Froch the fighting machine is still in there - the fire is still in the belly - but it's been too long.

Froch vacated his IBF super-middleweight title in February - he also held WBC and WBA versions of the crown - as he made one final attempt to recover from the injury which cost him his opportunity against Chavez.

Froch added: "There's no greater feeling for me than standing victorious in the arena and I'm never going to get that again now, and I don't know where I'm going to get that feeling from.

"I just feel like that fighting machine that I love so much and that I need to be to compete at the top level, I feel like it's been put away for too long, and I don't know if I can get hold of him again. I really don't think I could."

Froch's fight promoter Eddie Hearn led the tributes, calling him a "positive role model" and insisting he still had so much to give back to British boxing.

Hearn said: "You should remember Carl Froch for the fighter that he is, someone that never ducked anyone, something that gave the paying public value for money every single day of the week."

Groves paid a qualified tribute to Froch, lauding him as a "tough, strong man" but questioning whether he would have been good enough to hold his own against previous British super-middleweight greats.

Groves said: "Carl Froch was a tough, strong man, very tough, I don't know how he would have got on with those guys.

"I don't think he'd have beaten Joe Calzaghe, Calzaghe would have been too quick for him in my opinion.

"Him and Nigel Benn would have been an out-and-out war. Benn has a bit more skill and class about him but that would have been a great fight to watch as a fan."

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph