News December 2009

Carl Froch Interview: Discusses Khan and Kessler


Carl Froch managed to get hold of Carl Froch and ask him his thoughts on the Kessler loss and see what his response is to the numerous comments made by Amir Khan.

LF: Thanks for speaking to us today Carl, so first things first Ė what did you think of the Andre Ward vs Mikkel Kessler fight ?

It was a surprise, but not a big surprise. Everyone in the tournament is here on merit and although i confess to not watching much of the two Andreís beforehand, if they made the grade to stand alongside myself, Kessler, Abraham and Taylor then they (Showtime) obviously believed they were good enough to not only make up the numbers Ė but to be able to win it too.

Kessler and Ward

But back to the question , Kessler for me didnít seem at ease from the outset. Ward seemed to throw him off his plan - and the lunging in with the head was annoying me as I watched it. One of the commentators said he was Ďlike a billy goatí and I agree. Fair play to Ward, he employed the right tactics to win but I felt a bit short changed with it all. Kesslerís eye was hanging open and now our fight has been pushed back to mid April as a result.

LF: Do you think the loss for Kessler has changed the dynamic of the fight between you both now?

Definitely - Our fight has gone from a unification between two proud countrymen, to being a career saver for Kessler.

He would have been a handful in his home country anyway. But now he will be reeling from the Ward fight and will be looking to snatch my title with a vengeance and itís my job to go over to his backyard and prove who the top dog in the division is. So yeah, it has changed and if anything Kessler will now be more dangerous. He wonít want to go out like that (against Ward) and will let it all hang out now. But like I said, it will make no difference to the outcome. I respect Mikkel as a person - but this is business.

LF: How do you think your style would gel against Andre Ward ?

The key for me is that an opponent comes to fight. If they come to run, steal and hold then it donít gel at all with anybody Ė not just myself. But in Ward I see aggression and a will to win so from that point of view I think weíd have a good fight. I donít see the jaw breaking power in his punches, but he does have slick skills and good balance. Iíd stand for no shit with the head though Ė and if he wants to hit and hold against me, then fair play because Iím a lot more physical than anyone else heís tangled with . The Americanís have got on the Andre Ward bandwagon now , so it would definitely draw the publicís interest stateside.

LF: OK, so - Whatís all this business with Amir Khan?

Do you mean King Khan ? (laughs)

To be honest, I've steered away from getting involved. It's looked like he gotten all upset so I wanted to leave him alone as the written word can be quite powerful.

LF: So what started this off Carl ?

He's gotten upset because I gave a little feedback on his Prescott defeat and reported that I'd heard that the Kotelinik win was a little dull from reports off my friends who'd paid for the show and were disappointed.

He's just a bit young and fragile and probably just needs a hug from the rest of Team Khan or his personal chauffeur or whatever.

Iíve met Amir a couple of times and he is a nice enough kid to chat briefly to and so was his father.

But the bottom line is I have always told it how it is and to sugar coat things is just taking the mickey out of the boxing fans who read the internet or watch the fights on TV or whatever.

There's no malice intended in my feedback. I deal with cold truth. In boxing we all get a pat on the back and we all get criticised. I cop a lot of criticism off Mcquighan, Jim Watt and so on but it doesn't mean I start crying into my pillow about it.

We were all asked on ITV what we thought of the Precott defeat and a few of my peers said what Amir wanted to hear with a cherry on top Ė then I told it how it was as per usual. That it was a bad defeat and it would be a long road back for Khan and that there was some serious questions now about his chin. I think the other commentator's spared Amir's feelings, but I think it should be told how it is.

If Khan got up of the floor and put in a barnstorming comeback and knocked Prescott out in style, then that's what I would have raved about on ITV at the time - but he didn't. He was gone in 60 seconds from a jab and then a couple of heavy hooks. It was one of the worse defeats i have ever seen in boxing. Period.

Khan knocked out

I remember Khan's close friends and family at ringside looked like they were having a heart attack, watching the lad getting hammered like that. It was a very bad defeat indeed and you can tip toe around the event as much as you want but it is what it is. They will read this and they will nod and reflect back to that moment. He was totally gone and I was worried he would be OK.

And those questions over his chin have not gone away and before every fight people wonder when he finally does step up in class, will this flaw get exposed again?

Maybe the truth I spoke has dented King Khan's fragile ego and now i'm the focus of his mind - But I've got no beef with the guy.

Thinking as to why that is (having a go at me).... he can't blame himself for the loss and he can't blame Oliver Harrison or the Cuban either because they have both been sacked.

I know if I took a bad defeat, I would walk through fire to get back at the guy. I wouldn't let it go like that, no way. But that's me.

What did you think of Khan's fight with Salita at the weekend?

Khan took him out with some fast, clean shots. But without wanting to upset King Khan again - who is this Salita fella? I'm not being derogatory but honestly, I've never heard of the bloke.

I'd want to see an opponent at least take a shot and throw some back. I suppose it's down to the mandatory situation that he fought Amir.

Maybe I don't follow enough boxing, but correct me if wrong, Salita was never regarded as a hot prospect. If he was any good we'd have all heard about him before he'd got to the no1 spot wouldn't we?

My first defence was Jermain Taylor in America which kinds of gives you an idea of a what a genuine contender should be- and whom can declare themselves 'world class' and therefore be qualified to get a shot at the world champion.

That guy Salita had no business in there and i'd bet my house on him never getting another shot again at any belt.

But with regards Khan, yes he looked decent and completely in control.

LF: Sorry to keep asking these questions but whilst I've got you- does the fame & lifestyle that Amir seems to enjoy, bother you at all?

(laughs) it's Ok.

Listen... Not at all, iím not the jealous type and am happy with my lot. I've never aspired to owning a private jet and am happy with my jacuzzi !

But I guess it does bug a few other fighters out there who are taking harder fights and bigger risks, yet still doing the 9-5. But thatís not Amirís fault. If TV want to pay him large sums for easy fights then fair play to him.

I never got into boxing for the fame and lifestyle. I couldnít care less if I never live next door to Vanilla Ice in LA or own a diamond studded grandfather clock on my wrist. I come from a family of grafters and I unwind by getting my hands dirty, working on my house and my properties - Iím a working class guy and am happy relaxing with my friends and my girlfriend Rachael, not falling out of China Whites with my man bag.

I chuckled when I had a limo pick me up for the fight with Dirrell - usually I drive to the arena myself, put some petrol in and just ease myself down there. But they needed to get a camera crew plus Andy Kerr to interview me on the way.

LF: So do you see yourself heading abroad at any point to base yourself or even after retirement?

One day I'd like a place somewhere sunny for when the winter gets really grim here but I think 10 out 10 Brits would agree with that dream! with uncle Carl on the barbeque burning the food for my neices and nephews.

But otherwise i'm not dissimilar to Hatton and most fighters. I live in the area of Nottingham where I grew up and went to school. My brothers live a couple of streets away and my mum and stepdad Steve live about 10 minutes walk away. Everything that's important to me, family, is right here.

I usually spend my time running, training and doing normal things. Sure I get a lot of attention now when I'm buying a loaf of bread, but I enjoy socialising with people anyway and having a chat. I've got time for anyone who comes over. But I know it's my boxing that brought me here. The boxing will never be over shadowed by the fame. I've done a few TV shows for charity or fun, but I'll never chew on a rat in the jungle for a slice of extra fame !

Thatís what boxing fans identify with. They know that when I get inside the ring I put it all on the line, testing myself against the very best.

I donít want people remembering me for being rich or running people over in my Lamborghini. They will remember me long after Iíve hung the gloves up for mixing it at the top level and delivering when it matters. For having the bottle to call out the best and being prepared to go to their town to knock them out. A true warrior.

LF: Last question and it's about Amir again. Do you respect that Khan has comeback from the KO loss ?

Yes definitely, because it was a brutal loss. I admit that the people he's come back against have not been top fighters, but they are still semi decent for him to fight. I dont visualise him as a world champion yet though because he's fought nobody world class yet.

But when you talk about the word 'respect' - In boxing, respect is earned and not handed out. If Amir is fighting the top 5 of his division and winning then he deserves plenty of credit and we shall wait and see. That goes for any belt holder.

Without sounding hollow - I wish him all the best and hope he does the bizz. Moving up in weight may help his punch resistance and having Freddie Roach in his corner will do him no harm.

And i'll be the first to give him a high five if he does.

Is that what they do in L.A ? (laughs)

Thanks Carl for the interview.

Always a pleasure. I'll let you know the venue for the Kessler fight when I get it confirmed. Happy Christmas to you and all the Cobra fans, 2010 will be epic !


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