Froch on Golovkin: ‘I’d have SMASHED him to bits’
By Scott Gilfoid: Former super middleweight champion Carl Froch is saying that he would have “SMASHED to bits” Gennadiy Golovkin if he’d fought him back in 2014 when the two were in negotiations for a fight. After all these years, Froch still sounds BITTER about choosing not to fight GGG. It’s a fight that Froch should have taken but didn’t.
Golovkin and his management wanted to fight Froch at a catchweight of 166 pounds, but he was unwilling to move down in weight 2 lbs. So instead of the fight getting made, Froch (33-2, 24 KOs) retired without getting the big payday against Golovkin.
Had Froch taken that fight, he would have made massive money. The fact that Froch wasn’t willing to lose 2 lbs to make millions had some boxing fans thinking that he didn’t fancy the job. In listening to Froch talk about the fight now, you can hear the disappointment in his voice. For the average fan, it’s hard to understand a fighter not willing to lose 2 lbs to make millions. Was Froch afraid of losing to Golovkin? Some boxing fans think that.
At the time, Golovkin was a young 31, and a wrecking machine that was knocking everybody out. Froch choosing not to lose 2 lbs to fight Golovkin was seen as a duck job by a lot of people. Golovkin was willing to move up 6 lbs from 160 to 166, but Froch chose not to lose 2 lbs to get the fight made.
Froch: I’d have used my height and reach on Golovkin
‘Too big, too strong, back him up, back him up and mess him up,” said Froch on Fighting. “When you’re too big and too strong, I don’t care if you can punch hard because I can take a punch. He’s never been hit with 100 big rights the chin because I’m going to move out of the way of most of them. There’s a guy Arthur Abraham I fought. When I lost to [Mikkel] Kessler, I fought Abraham.
“He’s a stocky guy. You know Arthur Abraham. He can punch hard, and he knocks most people out. He knocked out Jermaine Taylor in the Super Six [tournament], and he was a monster puncher. I think I got hit once or twice the whole fight. I totally out-boxed him, and outclassed him and outmaneuvered him.
“The tactics would be the same for Golovkin because I have height and reach on him. I can box. People think I’m just a warmonger, and just stand there and fight, and take shots just to land shots. I want two ABA titles, and I won a medal in the World Championships. So I do have boxing ability,” said Froch.
Froch was a good fighter, but he lost almost every time when he fought the best. The guys that he did beat were flawed and not elite level. As such, Golovkin likely would have beaten him.
Froch: shaking Golovkin’s hand was like a wet lettuce
“If I used my boxing ability with my tenacity and my nasty mindset when I’m in that ring, I could keep myself out of harm’s way with my reach and put my shots together when I have to,” said Froch. “I’ve met Golovkin. He’s about 4 or 5 inches shorter than me. I shook his hand, and it felt like I was shaking the hand of wet lettuce. I just feel like he’s too small, not tough enough.
“Alright, he can punch hard, but Martin Murray took him 11 rounds. No disrespect to Martin Murray, but he’s a domestic level fighter and he went 11 rounds with him,” Froch said of Golovkin. “Those fighters don’t last 3 or 4 rounds with me.
“They get beat up. So the fight with Golovkin, I’m not just being big-headed, I’ve always thought and Rob McCracken always said, ‘You’re too much for Golovkin. He’s not a super middleweight, and he’s not big enough. When we tried to make the fights, we were in talks,” said Froch.
GGG isn’t the type to try and squeeze somebody’s hand to play a power trip on them. Trying to crush someone’s hand doesn’t translate into you being a better fighter than them.
What we’d seen from Froch in his last six fights was him getting between by Mikkel Kessler and Andre Ward. additionally, Froch was on the verge of losing to Jermaine Taylor when he pulled off a 12 round knockout in their fight in 2009.
In that same year, Froch won a highly controversial 12 round decision over Andre Dirrell in Nottingham, UK. A lot of boxing fans saw that fight as a robbery in broad daylight.
Getting down to 166 was too hard for Froch
“Yeah, we tried to make the fight. I think it might be Tom Loeffler,” said Froch. “They were trying to get me down to 166 lbs. It doesn’t sound like much weight, 2 lbs, below the 12 stone limit. I was a machine at 12 stone, but for me to make 12 stone, I have to take off three or four ounces on the day of the fight.
“That wasn’t easy. It sounds ridiculous talking about ounces now. Literally, I was on empty and drained stepping on the scales and I was 167 lbs and 14 ounces. I could not have lost another two lbs and performed. That’s what I’m getting at. They were just trying to drag me down a bit further.
“I said, ‘Look, let’s make the fight at 12 stone. You think you’re too much for me, and you’re going to beat me up and knock me out. Let’s do it at 12 stone.’ Don’t forget that I’d been out of the ring for a year. Then the talks began to get a bit serious, and they were just trying to drag me down to a weight division that I wasn’t able to do,” said Froch.
It’s so sad that Froch didn’t do his part and agree to come down 2 lbs to make the fight with Golovkin happen. If you look at it in terms of fairness, Golovkin was going to come up in weight 6 lbs. The least Froch could do is give up 2 lbs to make it a catchweight.
Yeah, Golovkin could have still taken the fight at the full weight at 168, but he likely saw it as a situation where he would have been viewed as the B-side. That’s not where he was. Golovkin was already a star at the time.
Froch wasn’t willing to drop 2 lbs to fight GGG at 166-lb catchweight
“So people that don’t understand boxing go, ‘What’s the big deal?” said Froch. “You’ve only got to lose 2 lbs.’ What I say to them is, ‘Let’s get Golovkin up two lbs to 12 stone.’ When I was talking I was at 13 4. It wasn’t a career heaviest, it was a lifetime heaviest.
“So I would have had to get myself down to 12 stone, which would have been hard. And then they were trying to drag me down even further, and that’s why the fight didn’t happen. I said look, ‘Not only are we not agreeing to terms properly, but we’re also at a non-starter at 166 lbs and that’s not going to happen.
“You do have to have tactics. And you have to have a plan-A and a plan-B. Me and Rob McCracken used to have a chat on that, but we never sat down and put pen to paper and said, ‘This is what we’re going to do.’ Obviously, when we boxed Arthur Abraham, it was to jab and move, keep out of his way and not get hit. It’s about hit your opponent and not get hit back. That’s how easy the sport is,” said Froch.
We saw the tactics that Froch used to beat Arthur Abraham, and it involved a lot of ugly clinching. If Froch used that as his plan-A against GGG, he would have been booed by fans worldwide.
It is interesting that Froch didn’t come down in weight 2 lbs to fight GGG, isn’t it? Froch can spin it any way he wants, but a lot of boxing fans still believe that he ducked GGG at the time. That was a long time ago, and obviously the newer fans aren’t aware of what happened with the failed Golovkin vs. Froch negotiations.
Carl Froch says he’d beat Golovkin up
“Luckily, I was able to get out of my career with my faculties still intact,” said Froch. “So if Golovkin came after me and tried to knock me out and land big shots, which I don’t think he would try and do, then I’d stand in front of him and have a fight with him.
“That might be stupid but you have to let him know that you’re not going to be bullied and pushed around as Tyson Fury did with Deontay Wilder. You have to meet him when they come. So depending on what Golovkin might have done, it would have deepened on what I would have done.
“In my opinion, I’d beat him up because I’m too big and too strong for him. Listen, I might be wrong, we’ll never know, but I’d back myself to beat him. There would be a lot of people saying, ‘No, no, no. Golovkin would beat you. He’s too strong. You get hit too many, and eventually, Golovkin’s power would land on you and eventually he’d break you down and stop you,'” said Froch.
The likelihood is that Golovkin would have walked Froch down, and dropped him the way Taylor and George Groves both did. Those two guys couldn’t finish the job against Froch due to stamina problems. Golovkin would have continued to hammer Froch with big shots once he had him down on the canvas.
These are the best fighters Froch fought during his career:
- Mikkel Kessler
- Andre Ward
- Andre Dirrell
- Jermaine Taylor
- Lucian Bute
- Arthur Abraham
Froch arguably lost to half of those fighters. As I said, Froch’s win over Dirrell was controversial, and he was losing to Taylor. Bute had already been knocked out by Golovkin in the amateurs.
Froch: I’d beat Golovkin by stoppage
“What I’d say to that is I’ve never been stopped,” said Froch. “I’ve only been put down twice in my career, and I got up to win both times. So you can’t say either of us are a clear winner. If you’re asking me how I’d beat Golovkin, I think I’d beat him by stoppage.
“I think I’d hurt him and the referee would say to himself, Golovkin’s not going anywhere because he’s so tough and such a good fighter, but he’s been hit so much so hard.
“A little bit like the Lucian Bute. I’d back him up to the ropes and smash him to bits. What a great fight that would have been though. I’m man enough to admit I could have come unstuck, I could have got my nose broke, I could have got my eye cut, and blinded me in one eye.
“I never thought I’d get knocked out, and I’ve been hit with some big, big shots in my career. Of course, I’ve felt them, but they’ve never bothered me that much, let’s be honest. I’ve never been flattened like Amir Khan ever,” said Froch.
It’s very unlikely that Froch would have been able to hurt the steel-chinned Golovkin in 2014. The two fighters were on opposite sides of the spectrum at the time, and Froch was the old lion who’d lost a lot of claws and teeth in his fights in the Super Six.
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