Shut it, Yu! Froch hungry to beat Mack after rival's 'fake Calzaghe' barb

By Jeff Powell

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The great debate as to whether Carl Froch would have beaten Joe Calzaghe has come back to galvanise the Nottingham Cobra for his world title defence on Saturday night.

Froch’s challenger, the experienced American Yusaf Mack, reignited the argument when he told the Britain’s three times super middleweight champion: ‘You’re just a fake, Calzaghe’.

Froch leapt into the discussion in animated fashion saying: ‘Don’t you know that Joe gave up his crown rather than face me? You didn’t even have the guts to say it to my face. You were 150 miles away in a TV studio in London. Now you’re looking at the man who’s gonna make you pay for that’.

Head-to-head: Carl Froch and Yusaf Mack square off ahead of their world title fight in Nottingham on Saturday

Head-to-head: Carl Froch and Yusaf Mack square off ahead of their world title fight in Nottingham on Saturday

Mack believes that he has ‘got under Froch’s skin’.

But the champion was in more measured mood as he went on to discuss privately the mega all-British fight with Calzaghe which never happened.

When Calzaghe retired undefeated, Froch was the rising star of the domestic middleweight scene and opinion has been divided ever since as to which of them will go down in history as the better World Champion.

Calzaghe held the earlier majority with the fans but the balance has shifted as Froch has gone on to fight a remarkable succession of the world’s best in their division, becoming a three times champion in the process.

Now both Froch and his trainer, Rob McCracken, believe that they would have been victorious had the two rivals met in their prime.

Both Froch and McCracken have been consistent down the years in their respect for Calzaghe.

But now, with the issue reopened, McCracken said yesterday, for the first time: ‘If you’re pressing me as to what would have happened then yes, I have to say I believe Carl would have got to Joe’.

Cobra clutch: Favourite Froch is hungry to defeat rival Mack in front of his home fans at the Capital FM Arena

Cobra clutch: Favourite Froch is hungry to defeat rival Mack in front of his home fans at the Capital FM Arena

Froch himself, who was frustrated in his pursuit of Calzaghe when both were active, said: ‘Joe and I have become good friends now. He is a gentleman and I regard him with dignity. But I have told him to his face that while it would have been very difficult for me to outpoint him, I am sure that I would have taken him out inside the twelve rounds.

‘It would have been a fantastic fight, which I would have loved. Joe nicked a lot of his wins because of his terrific work rate. He was extremely fit and threw a lot of punches which caught the eyes of the judges.

‘Some people accuse him of slapping but that was really only later in his career when he had brittle hands and needed to work a bit with the inside of the glove. I, for one, can excuse him of that. I know I would have had to knock him out to win but I do feel I would have done that. He was vulnerable to a big shot and was put down by fighters who were not as good or as heavy hitting as me. It’s just a pity that we never got it on. It would have been one of the great nights in British boxing.’

McCracken, who was also the shrewd coach behind the British boxing team’s medal-laden success at the London Olympics, bases his belief that Froch would have prevailed in the technical elements of the contest.

He said: ‘Magnificent fighter that Calzaghe was, he would have had difficulty in coping with Carl’s intensity at his best. Carl has always enjoyed comfortable success against southpaws and Joe was open to the kind of big right hand down the middle which my man possesses.

Ready to rumble: Froch hopes he can blew Mack away just like he did to Bute earlier this year

Ready to rumble: Froch hopes he can blew Mack away just like he did to Bute earlier this year

‘Given Joe’s volume of punches, he would have had to be the likely winner on points if it went the distance. But I don’t think it would have done. Twelve rounds is a very long time to be in a big fight with Carl, especially when he has this specific weapon to hurt you’.

Mack, for his part, admitted: ‘I was just hoping to rattle Carl and get him angry. If he’s so riled on Saturday night that he goes out of his game plan just to try to punish me, then that will give me my openings an opportunity’.

Froch, however, said: ‘I’m not that upset because one of the reasons I admire Joe is that once he retired he stayed retired. So I’m not gonna pay too much attention…not, unless, we can draw Mr Calzaghe back into the ring!’ In the unlikely event of that happening, this boxing nation will be polarised between two of the finest fighters Britain has ever produced.

Calzaghe would probably win the public vote but there are compelling cases to be made for both, not least along the lines set out by Froch and McCracken.

A further, and in my view, highly persuasive argument in favour of the current World champion is that there are now a greater number of world class opponents on Froch’s record.

 

 

The comments below have not been moderated.

As a Notts boy myself i hate to admit, "Super Joe" would have beaten Froch even if the fight was staged when both was in there prime, Joe just had too much ring know how, it would have been a score card decision cos i just couldn't see the knock out. As for the "Joe gave up his crown rather than face me" by Froch, erm no, he was looking for two pay days so he could retire a two weight undeafeated champ & not have to re-enter the ring, which he got with Hopkins & Jones jnr, (granted i thought at a few points he'd lost on both bouts). If i'll critise Joe on anything it's this, he should have gone over to America and fought there, he only did it for his last two fights which really wasn't even his weight class As for this mickey mouse contest, Froch all the way. Two fighters in there prime, Ali vs Tyson ???? (Ali to win, but would be a fight) Another on of just two fighters is Mayweather Vs Pac, c'mon guys, give the world what we want!!!!!!!

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froch got no need to go on about joe its not joes fault froch was not on his radar he had bigger plans than froch coming to the end of his retierment as for saying froch would of knocked joe out ur talking silly joe was more than capable of stoping froch or knocking him out joe always found a way to win thats why hes the best thats came out briton

Click to rate     Rating   2

joe would have destroyed froch in much the same way he beat up lacey

Click to rate     Rating   3

the green ups and red downs next to the comments say it all!

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The bottom picture tells me volumes - Froch alert and confident Mack slouching looking worried - possible scared ! Froch by a KO

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Froch couldn't even beat an over the hill Kessler (Who Calzaghe dismantled) so how on earth he would have beaten Super Joe, it's is beyond me. Froch needs to get out of the shadow of Joe and just avoid any questions about the unbeaten Legend. Froch is a good hard fighter but doesn't really have the skills or speed of a great. I have a lot of respect for him coming back from the pounding Ward gave him to win the title and I think he'll take this chump apart but i'm sorry when he comes up against real class he looks pretty average.

Click to rate     Rating   6

Calzaghe was a great fighter yes BUT I seriously doubt he would of been able to stop Froch were as I could see Froch stopping Calzaghe. In my eyes Froch has been underated all his career and is only now getting the recognition he deserves.. I can see him getting rid of Mack with ease!!!

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FROCH IS NUMBER 1, Calzaghe is number 2.

Click to rate     Rating   19

If Froch is going to run his mouth all the while saying he would've beat Calzaghe he should expect trash talk like that. There's no way he'd have beaten Calzaghe!

Click to rate     Rating   16

This Yusaf Mack needs to retire after this fight. You can tell when someone has taken to many blows to the head and that is definitely the case with this guy, he sounds just like most 80 year old former boxers who are now feeling the effects of their profession and he is only 32.

Click to rate     Rating   10

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