Carl Froch: George Groves is fighting me too soon

Scott Heavey

Carl Froch spoke with TalkSport about his upcoming fight with George Groves, and also gave his thoughts on the big David Haye vs Tyson Fury fight.

To listen to the full interview yourself, go to TalkSport.

Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast

I'm absolutely delighted to welcome IBF and WBA super middleweight champion Carl Froch to TalkSport. Carl, good morning. How are we Carl, OK?

Carl Froch

Good morning. Yeah, not bad.

Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast

I was listening carefully to George Groves talking about the forthcoming fight, and he was touching on the fact that you don't mind getting hit, and responding, well no one's hit him as hard as me yet. I asked Steve, does George hit that hard? He said, I don't think so. I just wonder where he's coming from there?

Carl Froch

I don't know. I think he's trying to give himself every chance mentally, trying to get his mind right and psychologically build himself up for a fight where really he's a massive underdog, and nobody really but his own trainer "Too Smooth" Booth is giving him a big chance. I mean, obviously he can punch a bit. They can all punch hard with these little gloves, but he's not a big, big puncher. He's got a high percent knockout ratio on his record, but when you're knocking over the level of opposition he's knocking over, you're expected to be high. He's not fought anybody ranked above No. 15 in the world.

Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast

Is he taking you on maybe a little bit premature?

Carl Froch

Yeah, I think he is, but you can't take anybody for granted or underestimate anybody, so I'm not going to be doing that. But I think he probably needed to fight somebody in the top 10, one or two fights, and then step up to this sort of level. But it's difficult sometimes to get them fights before you step onto the big stage, but he's stepping right in with the best of the best. I heard him say the other day, Carl Froch believes his own hype. There is no hype! I'm four-time world champion, former two-time WBC, current IBF and WBA world champion. I've boxed the best of the best. It's not hype, it's all factual.

Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast

Carl, is it fair to say that if George gets in the ring with you whenever it is, November or December, assuming he loses and he doesn't lose in two or three rounds, it's a fight that doesn't hurt him. He makes a few quid, he shares a ring properly, not as a sparring partner but properly with a world champion, and he retains all of his rankings. So in many ways, that makes him a bit dangerous, because he's in a lose-lose-lose-win every way situation.

Carl Froch

Very good point, Steve. He's fighting me, the best of the best, the elite of this weight division, proven in this weight division. If he gets beat on points, if he manages to drag out a decision, he might do that with his tactics that Booth might make him employ -- but if he goes the distance, yeah he's lost, but he's lost to Carl Froch. There's no shame in that. If he doesn't get knocked out and badly hurt, he'll come again, as you know. He's what, 25 years old? He's young, he's got a great record, he's got potentially a very good future ahead of him, but this fight has come too soon. They're probably looking at the fight the way you just said, if he doesn't get too badly knocked out or too badly hurt or beaten up, then he'll come again. But that's the risk they're taking, and let me tell you, I'm firing on all cylinders. And I'm getting a little bit wound up by the arrogance and the disrespect that they're showing a true champion. So he wants to be very careful what he wishes for.

Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast

You were wound up before the Kessler fight because he'd been over sparring, he sparred a lot with you, and I know that you had hurt him, dropped him, that had been in the past. He went over and sparred with Kessler which I think you were a little bit upset with, and I've got to be honest with you, I thought rightly so at the time. But here's the interesting thing I find about this fight, Carl. I agree with you, he's a massive underdog, and I think it's maybe six months or -- you can't measure in days, it's certainly one or two fights too early for Groves, but it will still sell! This will be an attraction because it's an attractive domestic world championship fight.

Carl Froch

Most definitely. He's unbeaten, he's British, and he obviously means business. He wants to become a champion. People can see that by the way he fights and the way he talks. This is his big chance to catapult him to superstardom, but unfortunate for him, boxing doesn't work like that. It works like that in Hollywood, you know, Rocky Balboa in the Rocky movies, it works, but in real life you put somebody who's of George Groves' level in with somebody of my level, provided I turn up 100%, which I always do.

Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast

Where will you be turning up, Carl? Is it gonna be Manchester, or where do you fancy?

Carl Froch

It looks like it might be Manchester. I don't think the O2 Arena (in London) is available around the dates we're looking at doing it. The Nottingham Arena is simply not big enough. So the (Manchester Arena) is a huge arena, and it'd be nice to come. I've not boxed there before, and it takes it to a different part of the country. But wherever it goes, it will sell. Like Steve Bunce said, it's a big British world title -- it's a domestic tear-up. People love that. People are gonna wanna see George Groves get beat and knocked out, and on the other side, they're gonna probably want to see if George Groves can beat Carl Froch. It's an interesting fight.

Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast

You're concentrated on your fight, the other fight people are getting excited about right now is Fury against David Haye. Steve said this morning, he thinks this is closer than what a lot of people think. How do you see this fight, Carl?

Carl Froch

Potentially, it is closer than what a lot of people think, because a lot of people including myself, think David Haye is just gonna go in there and wipe him out. It might take a couple of rounds for him to get his range and get near him, because Fury is very tall and very big and very rangy, and David Haye let's not forget is not a heavyweight, he's a cruiserweight blown up to a heavyweight. He's quite tall, but he's not 6'6", 6'7", so he's gonna have an arduous task getting in range to start with. But I think once he finds his range and once he lands his big shots on Fury's chin, the fight's gonna be over. It's a great fight and one I'm looking forward to. The problem could come for David if he doesn't get his range, if Fury really keeps him long and manages to get through four, five, maybe six rounds by keeping Haye at the end of his jab. And then Haye's gonna be -- he's not gonna be blowing, because he's fit, he can do 12 rounds. But he won't be as vicious and as tenacious late on in the fight as what he will be early. He might start getting caught with the odd shot himself.

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