Carl Froch: High Noon

By Robert Ecksel on January 30, 2016
Carl Froch: High Noon
Roy’s punch resistance has gone the way of his reflexes, and the direction is due south.

In an ideal world, in an ideal sport, the subject would never even arise. But the world is no more ideal than boxing…

Watching the dismantling of Roy Jones Jr. is not a pretty sight. People have been begging him to retire for years. Some of them are intimates, others are total strangers, but the message, and the response, is always the same.

Boxing is a young man’s game and at 47 Jones is not a young man. He isn’t a senior citizen, except in boxing terms, and those terms are as unforgiving as they are nonnegotiable.

One man who has watched the decline of Roy Jones with dismay is former super middleweight champion Carl Froch.

After watching the 46-year-old Jones get starched by Enzo Maccarinelli last month in Russia, Froch has seen enough and wants to do something about it.

“That was terrible to see that, upsetting,” Froch told the Daily Mail. “I watched that fight with David Haye and Johnny Nelson, because Big Josh (Anthony Joshua) was fighting that night and Roy Jones boxed Enzo Maccarinelli and got knocked out…terrible.”

It was terrible, even more terrible than the knockouts that preceded it. Roy’s punch resistance has gone the way of his reflexes, and the direction is due south.

“Roy Jones Jr. is one of the best fighters that ever lived,” said Froch, “and Maccarinelli is a limited, domestic-level fighter and he is knocking out Roy Jones. If I was Maccarinelli, I would not have taken the fight. I would not have fought Roy Jones. I would have refused to fight him. He has gone there and knocked him out and I would take no credit for that, but each to their own.”

Maccarinelli can’t be faulted for earning a living. He was offered a payday to fight Jones and he accepted the offer and will deal with the consequences. The fault, such as it is, and there’s plenty of fault to go around, lies with Jones himself, and Russian promoter Vlad Hrunov.

If Jones had beaten Maccarinelli the details wouldn’t matter. But then again, if Jones had retired in a timely matter, they would matter even less.

“Boxing is a hurt game,” Froch continued. “If you can’t be at your best, can’t be 100 percent mentally and physically switched on to performing, to win titles, defend yourself in the correct fashion, then I don’t think you should fight.”

Froch is right. In an ideal world, in an ideal sport, the subject would never even arise. But the world is no more ideal than boxing, and young men beating old men is part and parcel of the sweet science of bruising.

“Boxing is not like any other sport. You have to weigh up the risk and reward. Things like playing football, tennis, you might be three sets to love down, but boxing you’re going to the hospital on a stretcher and you know potentially you are going to get an injury you can’t walk away from. I don’t know whether they can bring different rules in on the licensing to stop people from coming back into the sport that have been retired a long time or past a certain age. There is an age limit of 35 on amateur boxing. They should consider putting an age limit on professional boxing. I boxed till my late 30s, so 47, that’s impossible really to be at your best and if you aren’t at your best you shouldn’t be boxing.”

There’s no arguing with Carl Froch. His reasoning is sound. His heart and head are in the right place.

Men like Archie Moore and Bernard Hopkins are the exceptions. The fate of Sugar Ray Robinson, and possibly Roy Jones Jr., is less the exception than the rule.

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  1. Jeff 03:30am, 02/02/2016

    Eric, when the English say “Football” they mean football (yes, soccer to you). The game invented by us in the mid-19th century, although the Scots might have something to say about that:

  2. AkT 01:04am, 01/31/2016

    Much needed article. I hope Roy Jones is reading this. I’m really glad I’m not the only one who feels like he keeps ruining that Picasso masterpiece every time steps into a ring these days. I don’t believe he has money issues so what’s the point? His fantastic boxing legacy is now public property and like a listed building, Roy needs permission to pull it down.

    Our response is quite loud and clear. We have all spoken.

  3. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 05:36pm, 01/30/2016

    Eric-Just sayin’.... if ever there was a fighter that had a body for boxing it was James Toney, especially after he started packing on the blubber. It wasn’t just his skill set where he could slip and slide and counter all night long….it was opponent’s punches just seemed to slip/slide right off of his blubbery, slippery, Pinniped like body all night long as well.

  4. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 05:18pm, 01/30/2016

    They just made Luis Ortiz/Dimitrenko…..tiiiiiimberrrrr! How fukin’ dumb are Dimitrenko’s people?! A better spot for him would be in with David Price….now that would be fun!

  5. Eric 02:37pm, 01/30/2016

    Irish….Cousy wouldn’t have a chance but Pistol Pete would do well in any era. For some strange reason I’ve always like Boston sports teams, I know absolutely nothing about hockey but I have Boston Bruins hats, jerseys, and t-shirts. People will ask if I’m a Bruins fan and I tell them I just love their uniforms. I will play Jimmy The Greek here and say that race is far more than just different skin color and sports is a good place to start. I will probably see a white man win the Olympic gold in the 100 meters about the same time I see a black man take home the prize for the 100 meter freestyle event in swimming. Have to look it up but I do think the Russkies had a fast white boy not too long ago. USUALLY black athletes have muscle types that provide quick burts of speed, while Whites dominate sports that require maximum efforts in strength and endurance. Olympic weightlifting is dominated by Asians and Europeans. Of course there are always exceptions. Boxing is a funny sport where I think that genetics play less of a role than in other sports like track or swimming. Most great boxers come from very poor backgrounds and I find that most great boxers are LOUSY athletes as a whole. Watching Tyson shoot hoops, Pacman in the batting cage, or Joe Frazier sprinting is embarrassing. A great athlete who had strength, size and speed was Brian Oldfield. Oldfield was a 70’s shot putter who at 6’5” 280lbs was fast enough to give Lynn Swann a run for his money in the 100 meter dash in the Superstars competition. Oldfield was one fast white boy. hehe. Growing up in a tough environment probably is far more important in making a great fighter than being blessed with good genetics, no way can I imagine Frazier playing in the NFL.

  6. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 01:09pm, 01/30/2016

    Great graphics on Boxing.Com….the photo above….Froch couldn’t walk like Gary Cooper or John Wayne for that matter if his very life depended on it.

  7. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 09:15am, 01/30/2016

    Eric-Do you think Bob Cousy could play in the present day NBA….maybe a better question is….could he even get the ball past mid court without having the ball stolen away….just wondering what you think.

  8. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 09:05am, 01/30/2016

    Eric-Great post! Let’s get right down to the nitty gritty though….that big fat ass elephant in the room that everyone, writers, analysts, experts, historians and even fans like us pretend isn’t there…...that is, that right out of the gate some are more suited physically and mentally for this “sport” than others….every bit as much as some are more suited to play in the NBA than others….and that is regardless of heart, desire, hard work, determination or yes even skill levels.

  9. Eric 07:15am, 01/30/2016

    Froch comparing a contact sport like football to tennis?  Surely, Froch was referring to soccer and not American football. I wasn’t around in Archie Moore’s time but I can remember when a fighter was considered “old” at 32. Ali was thought of as “old” when he took on Foreman in 1974, and Duran was considered “old” when he was fighting in the early 80’s. Little did we know that Duran had many more years left in him. A 40+ fighter was such a rarity a few decades ago that some guy named Bobby Halpern’s “Comeback From Nowhere” was worthy of a featured article in Sports Illustrated. But every now and then a physical specimen like Archie Moore, Hopkins, or George Foreman defy the odds. People age differently, depending on genetics, how much they abuse their body, etc. Some people are physical wrecks by the time they are in their late 20’s like Benitez & Pipino Cuevas. People like Hopkins are as rare as lottery winners so for the average Joe, 40 is too damn old to be boxing. High time for Jones to call it a day.

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