British WBA super-middleweight boss Carl Froch (33-2, 24ko) has this lunchtime (tue) spoken to Sky Sports News and become the latest in a long-line of fighters to wade in with a pick for Saturday night, offering his own tactical insight into what each man must do and also into whether or not his career has wound down to a natural conclusion.
Froch, a year removed from his stadium rematch with George Groves at Wembley, is certainly a fighter used to a big occasion. (Albeit not as big as this!)
Offering his own insight into a fighter’s mindset during fight week, Froch said;
“I think because they are so professional – they’ve been here time and time again. They know what it takes, they just have to keep their mind right and stay focused and also try to relax. ”
“It’s going to be in the last hour (before ring-walks) that – there’s a saying I like to use- ‘Cometh the hour, cometh the man’ – and that is when you can either bottle it or get up for it. And I think both are going to leave it all in the ring. Because they have to”
Froch, who said he is looking forward to the fight “like a kid in a sweet shop” also spoke about the influence of the crowd, himself having boxed in front of 80,000 vs Groves;
“You have a tunnel vision but it’s hard not to take in what’s going on around you. I know Wembley was 80k and this is the MGM which is only 16 or 17 thousand, but the intensity and the roar of the crowd is really going to play a big part in how these fighters perform and operate.”
Asked for some analysis on the intriguing defensive v offensive fight we are expecting to see, and some insight on what might happen in the ring, Carl said;
“I think if he (PBF) gets put down for the first time in his career it’s going to affect him massively but he’s good enough to get behind his shoulder, get into his “defensive slipstream” if you like, and just be effective behind the jab and keep himself safe”
“If he does end up getting put down early, I think he’ll recover from it and see the fight through to the finish line. He’ll be ok.”
“And vice-versa. I think if Manny Pacquiao gets put over – I know he got absolutley wiped out quite bad- a bit similar to George Groves getting ko’d at Wembley Stadium – thought I’d slip that in – by Marquez but Mayweather isn’t known for putting people away with one punch so Pacquiao won’t be too concerned about that and can concentrate on doing what he needs to do.”
“For Pacquiao to win he needs to back Mayweather up and apply educated pressure, and work hard when he’s got him. When Mayweather’s on the ropes and he’s slipping and sliding and ducking and diving with his shoulder covering his chin – which he does so effectively – Pacquiao just needs to punch down on Mayweather’s shoulder and his arms and just take what’s there and just try work him.”
“Because then round after round the judges will have to score for Manny Pacquiao. The fight could slip away from Mayweather if he’s not careful. So the longer the fight goes on, he going to be forced to stand and have a fight, so we could be in for a really interesting fight, we really could and I’m really looking forward to it.”
Pressed for his own fight prediction, Froch said;
“I think the smart money is Mayweather on points. I think a lot of emotional money has gone on Pacquiao. A lot of people want Pacquiao to win. Maybe its because Mayweather comes across as very arrogant and very brash. He’s very flippant with money as well Mayweather, but he has the right to do that. He’s earned it himself.”
“I’ve a lot of admiration for Floyd Mayweather and believe the best man should win on the night but there’s a lot of emotion backing Pacquiao. There’s potentially going to be a lot of upset people – either way. My money is on Mayweather, points.”
To round off the interview Froch gave some hints as to whether or not we have seen the last of the Cobra.
The once-mooted fight with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr that would have been a fitting Las Vegas swansong for him, was first postponed through injury and is now 100% binned after the Mexican fighter was battered by Fonfara before quitting on his stool almost a fortnight ago.
Froch admitted what I think the rest of a boxing public who have backed him so loyally already know when he said;
“It’s difficult to say where I go from here, but I think the curtains are closing on my career and something needs to happen fast if I am to fight again.”
“If I’m very, very honest I’m so satisfied with the career that I’ve had, it’s been an unbelievable journey. I’ve been a pro for over twelve years, I’ve got 3 of the major belts sat at home, I’ve got two WBC titles, I’ve also got an IBF title and a WBA title. I’ve achieved so much in what’s been a fantastic career, if it just so happens that the crest of the wave that is Wembley Stadium happens to be the last fight of my career, I’ve got no complaints whatsoever. I’m so satisfied and so, so happy. I’ve been very fortunate.”
“If I don’t fight again, I wont be crying into my pillow.”
That’s very telling talk from Froch, who can certainly walk away from the sport – should he choose to – with his head held high. If the opportunity of a fight in Vegas to bow out on does come up, Carl should consider his options very carefully. At almost 38 years of age he really does have nothing left to prove to himself or anyone else.
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