• Carl Froch v George Groves II

Froch: I would have retired if I lost

Rob Bartlett
June 1, 2014
Carl Froch spoke to George Groves immediately after the fight and told him he could come back from defeat © Getty Images

Carl Froch said his career would have been over if he lost to George Groves in their highly anticipated world title rematch at Wembley on Saturday.

Froch stopped Groves in the eighth round with a thunderous right hand crowd to retain his WBA and IBF titles but revealed he would have retired if he had been beaten in front of the electric 80,000 crowd at the national stadium.

"I said from the start this was potentially a legacy fight," Froch said. "I've had such a long, fantastic career and I've been involved in so many top level fights I said my legacy was potentially at stake, which it was. Unfortunately in boxing, people remember you for your last fight.

Class of Froch ranks him among the best

Carl Froch knocked out George Groves in the eighth round © Getty Images
  • Carl Froch has survived battles in the ring for supremacy and outside the ring for respect, but surely he conquered all doubters for the last time, writes Steve Bunce.
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"I didn't want to go out or finish my career, because my career would have been over. I would have retired if I lost that fight. I didn't want to go out and be remembered in the biggest fight in British boxing history post-war as a loser.

"I take nothing away from George Groves but I came here to win. I lived like a monk for three months and I listened to everything [trainer] Rob McCracken said. If you prepare correctly, you get the result which is what I did.

"This is one of the most satisfying nights of my life. I've had the weight of the world on my shoulders and George Groves in my ear for the past year. I've boxed Groves twice in a year and I've not heard the end of it.

"This was the biggest and best fight I've ever been involved in. It is the best night in the history of my whole career bar none - and I've been involved in some unbelievable fights. But 80,000 fans in the national stadium, it's going to be difficult to beat. I don't know how that can be beaten, to be honest."

Groves admitted complacency cost him the fight and left himself open for a split second for Froch to connect with the right hand, but the champion maintained he planned for that shot and would have no trouble beating the Hammersmith fighter again.

What goes on in Vegas...

  • Carl Froch will not be short of options should he choose to fight again, according to promoter Eddie Hearn, but the boxer has a desire to fight in Las Vegas.
  • Having his name in lights on the famous Vegas strip is what Froch has craved throughout his career and is possibly the only way the 36-year-old could top his victory against Groves.
  • "There are rematches out there for me, there are different belts," Froch said. "There's Las Vegas. The motivation still comes from the desire, my love for training. I'll stop when that goes; it's not about the belts or financial gain.
  • "If I can still fight, I'm going to continue. At the minute it's just difficult to top the evening. Settling the score in a grudge match, lifting the weight of the world and putting the whole Groves saga behind me is incredibly satisfying. I'll be smiling probably for the next 10 years.
  • "James DeGale made himself mandatory [for Froch's IBF title], he fought well and won but I'm in no position where I need to defend against a mandatory because I've just done that twice."
  • One possible opponent was present at Froch's post-fight press conference. WBC super-middleweight champion Sakio Bika exchanged pleasantries with Froch and the Briton thinks he could be a viable option.

"I knew he was in trouble. He started breathing heavy and I was hurting him, so it was only a matter of time," Froch said. "There was still another four and a bit rounds left - the best part of 13 minutes - that's a long time to be in front of me with those little gloves on.

"That was one of the best punches of my career. How do you define a good punch? By what it means and what that meant was the whole George Groves saga and the history of the fight; that was the right hand that finished the job. It was the best punch of my life. It closed the show and that's what great fighters do.

"If I fight George Groves ten times, I win ten times. That's not being big headed - I was born with ingredients you can't teach. It's toughness, heart, mindset and determination. You can't train those. I'm spiteful and disciplined and when I prepare correctly and do things right, I get the results.

"People don't think I can box. They think I'm a warmonger and I like to get stuck in and have a fight and a tear-up, which I do enjoy, but I can box. I can box the jab effectively and I showed that against someone who is actually faster than me."

While Groves insists he will one day be a world champion, Froch believes his rival is lacking certain characteristics that will stop him competing at the highest level.

"Nights like tonight can ruin a fighter and finish their career. That could finish him off or he could get determination from it and come back stronger. It depends on his character now, it's down to him. Who am I to give him advice? I don't think he likes me.

"He's young, he's talented and skilful and can come again. I said to him 'Don't go home and be too down and depressed because you were in that fight right up until that point'.

"He's missing one of those ingredients, a toughness to fight at top level. When he comes under fire and under pressure and starts taking shots like that, he needs to be able to stand up to it.

"He still needs to prove to me he can take more than one right hand off a top level fighter because I flattened him. It's about fighting at a certain level. He could beat certain champions at a certain level, but I do think he could become a world champion."

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