Carl Froch says he purposely carried a fight into the fifth round in 2005, and the British Boxing Board of Control will have a talk with him about the claim. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
In an interview with BBC Radio Nottingham, Carl Froch said that he deliberately pushed a 2005 fight into the fifth round to pay off on the bets of others, which will have him in front of the British Boxing Board of Control soon. From the BBC:
"I've done it more than one occasion and it was round five but that's not illegal. I can say, 'right, I'll stop this kid in round five'. If I'm good enough to do that then fair enough. I don't gamble but my brothers and my friends, they did quite well off it," he said.
"I can openly say that because if I'm good enough to step on the gas in round five and force the stoppage then that's my privilege, and that's what I did in this particular fight at the Arena for the Commonwealth title defence."
The fight in question was Froch's bout with Ruben Groenewald. At the time, Froch held the Commonwealth super middleweight title, and was still basically a prospect. This fight likely would have aroused no suspicion had he not talked about it in his autobiography, and spoken up about it once gain.
This is more like points shaving than it is the blatant fixing of a fight, by which I mean it wasn't a predetermined result or an agreement by the two parties or anything. Groenewald didn't know he was going down in the fifth or anything of that nature, and I don't know how you really deal with this, to be honest. We've seen loads of fights over the years where one guy basically carried another, for whatever purpose. I'm sure a lot of people have wound up making money on fights that went to decision instead of being stopped earlier, because someone wanted to get rounds in or whatever it was.
One example, and keep in mind I'm absolutely not saying it was done for the sake of bettors, because I don't believe that it was: Roy Jones Jr vs Tito Trinidad, where I felt personally that Roy clearly carried the fight the full 12 rounds and could have stopped Trinidad had he wanted to do so. He didn't -- whatever his reasoning was, he didn't, or maybe I'm wrong and he couldn't have. But there are lots of fights like that.
Another, more recent example of something similar: Kevin Mitchell blatantly stated before his February 10 fight with Felix Lora that he was looking to get rounds in and wasn't aiming to end the fight early. Does anyone really think Mitchell could not have stopped Lora had he been interested in doing so?
That fight brought to mind another fight for me, which is Victor Ortiz's 2010 win over Hector Alatorre. It was a ridiculous fight to make in the first place, and Ortiz carried it for a full nine rounds before stopping Alatorre in the 10th, completely at his own leisure. That fight didn't have to go past one round if Ortiz didn't want it to, but he got his rounds in, as was his plan. Again, not accusing Ortiz of doing something for the benefit of a betting line. It's part of boxing.
Now, Froch does say that it was to the benefit of his brothers and friends, which opens up the debate further and makes him look worse, of course. If the British board decides to suspend his license, I think he just moves to the States full-time, as he's said in the past he would like to do. Brick said the same thing in a comment earlier, and I have to believe that's exactly what he'd do. He's not going to have his career ended over this, and while there may be an ethical issue here, I don't really know that anyone will believe it to be a shameful act, and I don't see it tarnishing his reputation much.