Carl Froch: Lord of the Rings?

By Robert Ecksel on March 25, 2012
Carl Froch: Lord of the Rings?
When The Cobra beats Bute, then he can, if he wishes, compare himself to whoever he likes

Whatever Carl Froch is smoking, I wish he’d take a drag and pass it along.

In a case of the less said the better, Froch told the Daily Star that if history if any judge (and trust me it is not), he should be remembered as a better fighter than Joe Calzaghe.

The Cobra has his reasons for having reached that conclusion. Whether those reasons are sound or not is for you to decide.

“Joe was a fantastic fighter and retired undefeated, but if you want to be critical,” said Froch, “go down his record and have a look who he fought and when he fought them. He beat Bernard Hopkins and Roy Jones Jr. But it is all about when you fight them and people know.

“He had a tough fight against Robin Reid. It was a split decision but he lost that fight. I could say I lost to Kessler but if that fight had been in Nottingham I’d have won. I’ve lost to Ward but everyone is talking about him being the best on the planet. It is no disgrace to lose at this level.”

Froch is right that losing to Andre Ward is no disgrace. S.O.G. is one of the fight game’s masters. But the same was true of Joe Calzaghe. He was always in top shape. He always came to fight. He never ducked anyone and always fought whoever was in front of him. And to be fair, Calzaghe can no more be blamed for the weak opposition he faced that Rocky Marciano or the Klitschkos can be blamed for the weak opposition they faced.

But Froch’s complaints aside, the facts are that Calzaghe was champion for 11 years with 21 title defenses and retired undefeated with a 46-0 record. Those numbers are nothing to sneeze at. Perhaps envy, or some such thing, has gotten the better of Carl Froch.

“If you look at the people who all have their legacy secured—Sugar Ray Robinson, Sugar Ray Leonard, Muhammad Ali—they all have defeats on their record,” said Froch, inadvertently comparing himself to three of the all-time greats. “I am involved in high-quality fights. You win some, you lose some, and I’ve only lost twice. Beating Bute, an unbeaten fighter, will be another great achievement.”

When Froch beats Bute, if Froch beats Bute, then he can, if he wishes, compare himself to whoever he likes. But to do so now, or perhaps ever, seems ludicrous on its face.

“I am a good old-fashioned, passionate fighter from the cobbles,” Froch explained. “Fighting people is in our nature. We are barbarians and barbaric by nature. We love a good scrap and that’s what I give when I fight.”

We also love a good scrap, and I speak for my colleagues as well as myself when I say that we too are “barbarians and barbaric” by nature. But we don’t, as least the majority of us don’t, compare ourselves to Red Smith, Jimmy Cannon, Paul Gallico, Hype Igoe, Budd Schulberg, and the scores of other great chroniclers of the sport, and not heaven forbid in public.

But perhaps that’s what separates the men from the boys, the fighters from the scribblers.

Or maybe Carl Froch is off his rocker.

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  1. Michael Read 04:08pm, 04/02/2012

    From Following Carl’s progression even before the super-six, I Remember a conversation i heard in the gym up in Sutton-in-Ashfiled Notts) -  about Carl being unstoppable in the division at the time, I was kind of happy that there was talk about a hopeful in Nottinghamshire.

    I then started to follow a few of his fights and see what it was all about. As I tried and tried to find entertainment in his fights, it soon became obvious he was running on only a few things, Will to keep standing on his feet whilst clambering around on his really bad legs and ring mobility.

    This is what in the end sealed his Doom. HIs hands are very solid, but without the legs and hips to carry them in there as much use as a chocolate teapot, For the Ward fight, Carl played up a bit of a bad guy I think. I still believe to this day that if he had not bulked up his upper body for the hard fight and concentrated on legs and mobility, left his upper body a bit more slight, he may have a combination to stand a chance with Bute, because let’s be honest, using Bute/Johnson as a great example of hitting and not being hit and all down to Bute’s Great mobility on his shots… Carl listen mate, get your self into some good USA based Gyms, where these guys are going to show you how to travel and punch on your legs properly, swallow all this arrogance and British pride bollcks and go back to the gym, look at Bute after a good stint in the Florida gyms over there, he’s miles ahead of the game. In all sincerity, Carl did get out of line, but let’s still remember his journey here and i honestly had Dirrel for the Supe r6 and Carl only on Heart. But if we are going to have a dig, let’s see Ward deal with the Matrix, then we can talk more shit about Carl. Houston TX via Sneinton dale, Notts.

  2. raxman 04:47pm, 03/27/2012

    the tache - i’m with you. along with cotto, carl froch has the best boxers resume of anyone in the game. pascal, taylor, dirrell, kessler, abraham, johnson and ward - and now bute. that going to make 8 fights in a row against top shelf opposition.and the way froch fights is entertaining in itself. the fact that he owns the last 3 rounds of every fight, that his stamina is equal to his chin means his fights arent over til the final bell - as amazing a talent as Andre Ward is, if their fight was an old fashioned 15rounder, the result could’ve been different.
    i loved Joe C - his speed, , his chin, endurance, and even his chop/slap punching that were actually hard and often in bunches - but the guy hid in wales, protecting his ‘0’ and in doing so his 7 figure per fight pay packets. it was only once his career was heading towards its used by date that he stuck his head out and fought kessler - ie a loss at that stage wouldnt matter as much coz the money was made

  3. Damien 03:50pm, 03/26/2012

    Please,Please Stop it Carl. IMO Froch is a Good Fighter,but I seen him get dominated by Ward,Get a gift against Dirrell who Beat him easy,but got robbed, and lose to Kessler. Just stop it Carl. You are a good fighter. nothing more.

  4. mike schmidt 08:47am, 03/26/2012

    Got a disagree with you fearless editor—he can beat Bute—not going to make a difference—as far as I am concerned Bute should have a loss on the record—and has been protected-the benchmark still remains—Joe beat a prime Kessler inside out—Froch lost to an older Kessler—and let’s not be so dismissive of Joe beating on Hopkins-who fought that fight like a pussing—going down on his knee—delaying when he was getting tired etc etc- well news for ya-here we are three years down the road-Kessler still a top rater, Hopkins still a number one and having beaten Pascal—the funny part is I like Froch-he is an entertaining fighter in and out of the ring- and it is entertainment—BUT BUT and Irish is right on—quit trying to ride somebody else’s coat here—go beat a Kessler in a rematch—go beat Hopkins…the problem is he can’t and when he had the big test against Ward he was exposed as very one-dimensional—end of story

  5. Robert Ecksel 08:12am, 03/26/2012

    The Tache—I don’t mean to pick on Froch. He’d have me down and out in a heartbeat. I just call them as I see them. It doesn’t make what I write the gospel truth. I was at the Garden for the Jones fight and Roy was the personification of pathetic that night, leaning against the ropes and absorbing punishment like there was no tomorrow. And Hopkins was/is as old as water. We can only speculate what would have happened if Froch had fought Calzaghe. But it’s a fact that some fighters resent living in their predecessor’s shadow, perhaps rightfully so, and that seems to be the case with Carl Froch/Joe Calzaghe. The Cobra can silence his critics, including me, by beating Lucian Bute. I’ve eaten crow so many times that I’ve actually developed a taste for it.

  6. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo 07:54am, 03/26/2012

    the tache-Any time a fighter enters the ring he’s taking a risk….no one is critizing Froch for his fighting ability or his great heart….the point is that he’s trying to build himself up by tearing down an ATG that the whole of the UK should be proud of including him and demeaning himself in the process. For my part I appreciate his confident and determined attitude, but being an old fart, I like many others would prefer that he give credit to his opponents before and after the fight and beat the hell out of them in the meantime.

  7. thetache 07:19am, 03/26/2012

    What a surprise, another Ecksel article slating Froch for demonstrating the usual boxer’s confidence/arrogance.

    He may not be as good as Calzaghe but he sure has hell has taken more risks, a lot more. Which if he is as limited as has been suggested would magnify those risks.

    Calzaghe waited far too long before testing himself against the big boys and has left himself open to the criticism that his two best wins were against old men. I mean come on, Roy Jones, what sort of scalp is that now?

    Calzaghe may well have boxed rings around Froch but sadly he didn’t want to prove it.

    One final point, I see talk of revising history in earlier posts, let’s not forget that Calzaghe was virtually unknown to the general public even in the UK until after the Lacy fight, then he squeezed by Hopkins and suddenly he is a living legend.

    I am not making any judgements as to the relative skills of Froch and Calzaghe, just their differing views on risk taking.

    Maybe Froch talks himself up because he is frustrated that Calzaghe will always be held in higher regard despite not fighting anyone half decent at their peak.

  8. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo 06:26am, 03/26/2012

    Mike Schmidt—Manny got that right…I’ll never forget him controlling Jones with only his forehead pressed against Jones’ chest and both hands at his side. Another thing for the thug lifers out there….he literally snapped Hopkins’ pantywaist and gave him a wedgie into the bargain! People that follow this great sport acknowledge that a strong mental make up is at least as critical as physical ability to be successful in boxing…some like Teddy Atlas say that it’s more important by far. Yet, when when they witness a fighter like Joe Calzaghe destroying his opponents both mentally and physically they scratch their heads…..go figure!

  9. MIKE SCHMIDT 07:06pm, 03/25/2012

    I go back to Manny Steward repeated comments about Joe C—he would have been difficult for anybody in any era—a special fighter—Froch—not

  10. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo 05:40pm, 03/25/2012

    Stop me Lord I just can’t help myself…I literally hate it when people try to revise history and try to tear down and diminish an ATG in order to elevate themselves in the process. I respect Froch as a fighter but let’s face it ....his greatest hit was his shutout against the human statue Arthur Abraham and that speaks volumes!

  11. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo 05:19pm, 03/25/2012

    Mike Schmidt—One more one more thing…it wasn’t that Ward was just too good as everyone seems to want to believe…. it’s more like Froch was just not good enough. Hell…it’s debatable if he could keep Sakio Bika off of him and keep from getting mauled in the process. This business of having sour grapes about someone he never even fought really rankles!

  12. mike schmidt 04:23pm, 03/25/2012

    I stand and salute you Irish—you got it bang on buddy- keep on punchin’—good to see some guys posting in that know exactly what the hell they are talking about in the punch the other guy in the snoze business

  13. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo 03:59pm, 03/25/2012

    One last thing….he should thank the heavens he wasn’t in there that fateful night instead of Jeff Lacy….because his career would have taken the same trajectory as Lacy’s in the aftermath….GUARANTEED!

  14. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo 03:48pm, 03/25/2012

    Bye the bye Joe Calzaghe would have lathered both Ward and Bute to a fare thee well if they had toed the mark with him when Joe was at his best…..hell….probably on an off night too!

  15. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo 03:39pm, 03/25/2012

    To think I used to like this guy….he couldn’t beat Hopkins if his life depended on it and the Roy Jones that Joe Calzaghe toyed with still had enough left to settle his hash! Why does he think Bute is willing to come to his backyard….I’ll tell you why….Bute knows damn well that he will be checking Froch’s chin at a far greater rate than vice versa and he feels that will cancel out any home field advantage!

  16. the thresher 02:26pm, 03/25/2012

    Red Smith, Jimmy Cannon, Paul Gallico, Hype Igoe, Budd Schulberg, Gee- you left out Hauser!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and Dan R

  17. mike schmidt 07:48am, 03/25/2012

    He could beat Bute ten times over and it will still not matter—I stand by my article, “Calzaghe’s Shadow” and thanks for re-posting as above—the true benchmark between Cobra and Joe is Kessler-a fresh in his prime Kessler did Joe beat on and beat on but good—sorry Cobra, carve out your own legacy and stop trying to ride the bootstraps of a great great fighter in Joe C.

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