Former WBA World super middleweight champion Carl “The Cobra” Froch (33-2, 24 KOs), from Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom, currently ranked #2 by the WBA, has decided, after a year of inactivity and much thought, to call it a day.
The 38-year-old Cobra has been flirting with retirement since his second fight with George Groves. Needing a challenge to motivate himself, Froch expressed interest in fighting Gennady Golovkin, but that interest was apparently not reciprocated.
Froch has had an exemplary career. His only losses were to Mikkel Kessler in 2010 which was avenged three years later and for which he won the WBA title, and Andre Ward in 2011. But those losses were offset by wins over Jean Pascal in 2008, Jermain Taylor and Andre Dirrell in 2009, Arthur Abraham in 2010, Glen Johnson in 2011, Lucian Bute in 2012, and George Groves in 2013 and 2014.
There’s no telling if Froch’s retirement will last. With the exception of Gene Tunney, Rocky Marciano, Lennox Lewis, and Joe Calzaghe, most retirements are temporary, as there’s a void that needs to be filled and can only be filled by resuming fighting.
Speaking toBBC Radio 5 live about his decision to hang up the gloves, Froch was as thoughtful and articulate as ever. Eternally cool, calm and collected, he is retiring with the same dignity and grace he brought into the ring.
“My legacy speaks for itself,” he said. “I’m incredibly proud of what I have achieved in boxing but now is the right moment to hang up my gloves. I don’t want to get in the ring ill prepared like I did in the first George Groves fight because we’ve seen what can happen. It can be a quite dangerous sport, boxing, and I was put down in the first round and was hurt quite badly, until I fought back into it and got the stoppage. And obviously that was the perfect foil for the Wembley rematch, so it was a good job it all happened.
“But as I’m sitting here at home, probably about to wake my daughter up, and my son’s already up and about, I’m just enjoying family life and I’m in a really, really good position, mentally and physically, and I think it’s the best way to go out on my own terms at the top.”
Everyone wants to go out on their own terms and at the top, but some had hoped that Froch, like Bernard Hopkins, might fight forever.
“I think Bernard Hopkins, it’s the lifestyle,” said Froch. “He’s from Philadelphia. He’s in the gym every day. He lives and breathes the sport. Me, I’m more, of late, I’m more of a family man. I mentioned that I’ve got my children. Rocco is five years old. My daughter Natalia is two. In the second week of September, my partner Rachel is due with our third child. My lifestyle, my life, has changed so much since I first turned professional and I don’t think I can be the man that I need to be, the fighting machine I need to be to succeed at the top level. I’m four times world champion.I’ve got nothing left to prove. So it’s great to be able to retire on my own terms, totally satisfied with my career.”
But after devoting so many years to his career, won’t Carl Froch miss the irresistible urge to engage in combat?
“There’s always going to be fights out there that I want to fight, in my head, till the day I die. There’s plenty of fights out there because there’s a real strong crop of super middleweights and light heavyweights. I’m not a light heavyweight, but we can make catchweight fights, which we’ve talked about and I’ve done in the past. But there are so many super middleweights in my division that are potential opponents, it would never end. There’s going to be fights out there. That will never change. I’m going to be in my sixties looking at kids in the super middleweight division, thinking, ‘I could do it.’”
Froch was asked, and not unreasonably, how he’d like to be remembered.
“I’d like to be remembered as somebody who ducked nobody, who took on all comers. I’m not the one who stays at home and fights handpicked fighters. I traveled. I’ll go on the road. I’ve fought on numerous occasions in America, all over Europe, and never ever shirked a challenge. I’ll never back down.
“The word warrior is bandied around far too much in the boxing world, but I’d like to be remembered as a warrior who would fight anybody and give the fans and paying public what they wanted. There’s no better feeling than standing victorious in the arena, and it’s going to be difficult to get that fix. I’ll probably never get that high again, that natural high, but every man has to move on, every great thing comes to an end, unfortunately—and it is unfortunate—but it’s life.”
This article was penned by the author who is not related to the WBA and the statements, expressions or opinions referenced herein are that of the author alone and not the WBA.