CARL FROUCH ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT
By TOM WATT on July 15 2015
After more than a year out of the ring, Britain’s long-reigning Super-Middleweight Champion, Carl Froch has decided to call an end to his illustrious career and become a pundit for Sky Sports in the UK.
Froch’s tweet confirmed what many had suspected for a long time, since his last fight Froch looked likely to have one more battle before his career ended but his dreams of a big Vegas night against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr went down in flames after the Mexican was easily beaten by Fonfara earlier this year. Other potential suitors included compatriot James DeGale who had been angling for a fight against the ‘Cobra’ before he was given the chance to fight for his title against Andre Dirrell and Froch had put himself in the firing line of the ‘Kazakh Destroyer’ Gennady Golovkin after numerous interview comments that culminated in a bizarre tweet saying he was “too big and too strong for GGG” 10 days ago, less than 2 weeks before he retired.
As a British Boxing fan I have grown up admiring Carl Froch and all he has achieved, Froch will be the first to admit that he was never the most technically gifted fighter but whatever he lacked in technique he more than made up in sacrifice, endurance, toughness and a never-say-die warrior’s attitude that exemplifies all that British fans look for in their representatives. It was these attributes that took Froch to the top of the Sport and kept him there for so long, as a four-time World Champion Froch, for a long time, fought everyone put in front of him in a stacked Super-Middleweight division – fighters that included Andre Ward, Lucian Bute, Mikael Kessler, Jermain Taylor, Andre Dirrell, Arthur Abraham and of course, George Groves.
Until his fights with Groves, Froch had commanded almost unquestionable support from British fans but this was new territory – a confident young upstart that had managed to force a fight with the long-standing Champion who (unable to see the similarities in his own pursuit of a fight with the legendary Joe Calzaghe earlier in his own career) took exception to Groves’ ambition and thus began one of modern Boxing’s best rivalries. After an extremely controversial win in the first fight, public pressure mounted and eventually forced a rematch that would break all records – including the biggest Boxing gate since the War. That record crowd of 80,000 at Wembley Stadium witnessed Froch’s final farewell, a thunderous right hand that left his opponent sprawled out on the canvas.
That night at Wembley has to be at the top of nights to remember for ‘Cobra’ fans, for the neutrals his battles with Mikael Kessler and domination of Lucian Bute signaled exactly what watching a Carl Froch was about, a bloody battle to the last! If ever there was a man to bite down on his mouth-guard and come back swinging from a tough spot, it was Carl Froch. Whether they are fans or not, nobody can ever question his desire to win and his ability to keep pushing himself – not many would battle back from that knockdown in the first fight against Groves to win the fight, albeit in controversial circumstances. Not many would have gone back for another bit of the cherry following his first fight with Kessler, but Carl Froch did, and Carl Froch won. In fact his loss to Andre Ward is the only one he didn’t avenge and in his defense, Ward is one of the top P4P fighters of a generation and has been largely inactive since his fight to Froch.
The Cobra’s departure from competing will leave a hole in the British and World Super-Middleweight scene that many will be eager to fill, as with his emergence from Calzaghe’s shadows all those years ago, it is now time for a new breed of British Super-Middleweights to take on the mantle, fighters like George Groves (Due to fight Badou Jack for the WBC Title in September), current IBF Champion, James DeGale and upcoming star Callum Smith. The future is bright for the Super-Middleweight scene and Froch will now have the luxury of watching from ringside as he calls the fights for Sky Sports.
Love him or loathe him, Froch will be remembered in the minds of fans as a true warrior and that is exactly how he would have wanted it.
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