Carl Froch was known for his aggression and fearlessness in the ring, embodying the phrase ‘take one to land one’ on many occasions throughout his world title winning career.
It’s a famous British rivalry that he says damaged him the most – his first fight with George Groves in 2013.
Groves assumed, to the surprise of many, the role of the aggressor on the sound of the first bell. It paid off quickly, an overhand right at the end of the round sending Froch to the canvas for only the second time in his career.
He would build up a steady lead employing the same strategy, culminating in a sixth round that Froch tells TalkSPORT was the full stop on the ‘biggest beating’ of his career.
“I’ve got it up there with probably the worst beating I’ve ever had, and when you look at how many fights I had, world title fights back to back, for me to concede that George Groves gave me the biggest beating of my life, that’s a big statement.”
Froch has since said that he was ill-prepared for the fight, and further hurt his chances by not listening to the advice of trainer Rob McCracken to get behind his jab, instead opting for a war with Groves.
It finally paid off in the ninth, when referee Howard Foster infamously stepped in and stopped Groves when he was wobbled by a Froch flurry. At the time of the decision, Groves was ahead on all three scorecards.
The pair would rematch in 2014, with Froch winning much more conclusively.
As for today, the pair are friends. The two-time victor summed it up in only a way he could.
“I’ve got so much respect and admiration, I mean look at his stupid smile over there. That smile I used to want to punch it down the back of his throat, now I want to grab hold of his cheeks and give them a squeeze.”