In this exclusive interview, we catch up with legendary British boxer Carl Froch, reflecting on his illustrious career and offering insights into the world of professional boxing. Froch, known for his straightforward and unfiltered views, delves into various aspects of his journey — from his late start in professional boxing to his memorable battles, including the iconic fights against George Groves and Andre Ward.
Well, yeah, it was a great fight. I stopped him in round nine. So, yeah, why not? If I could relive it and I knew what was coming, I'd train differently, but no, it was a real spectacle.
There's not many fights that happen that you actually want to re-watch two or three times because you see something a bit different every time. And that first fight with George Groves, I thought he was superb. I mean, it was his first world title fight. He was really motivated.
And I turned up a little bit mentally not prepared because I was wound up from him. And physically I was not at my best because I was doing a dance show with my partner. I'd beaten Lucian Bute, had that rematch with Mikkel Kessler and beaten him. I was kind of...I was doing a bit of TV reality stuff. You get this taste for the celebrity lifestyle, you switch off a bit, and you start to become civilized and comfortable.
But yeah, I was still a seasoned world champion with bags of experience in 12-round fights against absolute road killers. I mean, you could have my CV and have a look at the people who I boxed.
When I jumped in with George Groves, I'd really had some experience at top level. I'd gone 12 rounds on numerous occasions and been on the floor already and got up to win against Jermain Taylor, for example.
So yeah, I wouldn't change anything. And the fact that I was ill-prepared and the fight was harder than what it should have been and I got dropped in the first round, that's what created the controversial rematch, which gave us Wembley Stadium, which made everybody a lot of money.
I was able to finish my career with my defining moment, which was that big fight at Wembley Stadium with all them people. I'm not gonna say the number.
I waited until I was 24 because I had no choice. I didn't box from the age of 15 to the age of 20. I came out of boxing.
I boxed amateur from like eight years old. I started competing at 10 or 11, whatever it was back then. I think the rules on age have changed. So regardless of how old I was, I boxed as a schoolboy and as a junior for five or six years, competitively. Before that, a couple of years. So I had only eight years as a fighter.
And then we moved to Newark and I didn't box. So when I was 15 years old, I stopped boxing, stopped going down the gym, stopped training. I was in pubs, I was playing pool and snooker and playing on fruit machines. And I was outside on the beer garden and I was scrapping every Saturday, even as a 15 year old, I was getting involved in fights because we was in pubs.
I've got a big brother who used to have a roll around with every now and again, and I've got a little brother as well. So quite a rough stepdad who didn't like us. We had a rough time, me and my brothers as kids.
And I moved back to Nottingham to further my education, finished school at 16 in Newark. As soon as a couple of years went by in Nottingham, I was just thinking to myself, I've got a dead end job. It's not really happening for me.
But I was a big boxing fan. I was out watching Prince Nassim Hamid fight and watching all the Mike Tyson and the Lennox Lewis fights and that. And I was in my head thinking, I used to box, I used to be quite good at boxing, but I've not done it for four or five years.
Literally at 19 years old, I just had an epiphany and I had an awakening in my head and I just thought, I'm going nowhere. My life's going nowhere. I'm going back down to the boxing gym.
So at 19 years old, six foot, 11 stone, skinny, I just went down to gym and started training again, started boxing.
And I went in a couple of national championships, won a couple of ABA titles, got picked to box for England, won a couple of multi-nations tournaments, got a gold medal, got best boxer of the tournament, got picked to box in the Olympic qualifiers, didn't quite make it.
Quite corrupt. Don't want to go too much about corruption, but it's hard to qualify in the Olympics back in when it was the Sydney 2000 Olympics there were a lot of brown envelopes getting passed around. The England kids never got a fair shake.
I was with David Haye boxing for England and kind of getting nowhere but after the Olympics we got picked to fight in the world championships because they knew that we could fight, me and David.
I battered a Romanian kid called Adrian Diaconu in Liverpool in a Multinationals tournament. Battered him and I lost on points, 14-1. So going out to the last round, both his eyes are almost closed because I've properly punched his head in. It was a close fight, don't get me wrong. The fight was very close, very tough guy.
Jean Pascal, my first world title, I beat Jean Pascal for my first world title as a professional. He actually beat this Adrian Diaconu as a professional. It was like poetic justice in the end because he beat me in Liverpool and took my Sydney Olympic place. Then as he turned pro, Pascal beat him, I beat Pascal. So it kind of all worked out well in the end.
But yeah, me and David Haye, our career highlight as an amateur was the World Championships in Belfast at the Odyssey Arena, where we won back-to-back medals. If you medal in a World Championship as an amateur, then you're quite big news.
I mean, the Olympics is far more glamorous and you get more recognition, but to win a medal in the World Championship... I beat an Olympic medalist in that tournament, I beat the Sydney Olympic bronze medalist.
On the back of that accolade, I turned pro, but I didn't start boxing until I was 19. So to do three ABA titles, there's three years. Then I boxed for England for a couple of years. I had my career highlight as an amateur winning that bronze medal in the world championships. That was it, I turned pro.
So it was just a natural progression really. I couldn't have just jumped back in the ring and turned professional at 19 years old because I wasn't ready. I needed more experience and more pedigree and there's nothing better than open international boxing as an amateur, especially back then.
It was really tough and hard and a lot of Eastern Europeans wanted to take your head off. I lost in the semi-final to the Russian world champion who went on to win the gold. He was like 34 years old. I was 23/24 years old and he was a big, strong, solid, hard motherfucker.
He was punching me with shots from the Southpaw stance. I was thinking, wow, if he hits me on the chin with one of them... I was getting to him as the fight progressed and in round four, the last round, I hurt him and wobbled him.
Rob McCracken was there. He saw me and he said I think he'll be a great pro. And obviously I was 25 years old by the time I made my professional debut in 2002. But yeah, it was a mad journey from getting back into boxing at 19 to actually turning professional, having my pro debut at 25, it was all just... I'd not thought it out.
I didn't think I was ever going to turn pro. I actually didn't want to turn pro. I just wanted to box and do something with my life and maybe box for England and represent my country in the Olympics. And I just thought things will come from that. So that was my aim. Just to do something I enjoy and get paid to do it. But yeah, professional boxing was a natural progression. I wasn't bad at fighting as well, so it worked out well.
I don't think it was that tough starting late because if I had turned pro earlier, I wouldn't get my man-strength. I mean at 19 I was skinny and I wasn't punching hard enough. I didn't feel physically that strong.
Then I shot up a little bit in height, I was about 5 foot 10 at 19. I remember I used to keep measurements of my height because I always wanted to be taller than my brother. My big brother is 6 foot 2. I never quite got there. But I didn't stop growing until I was 21 and I was skinny. I was 21 years old, 6 foot 11 stone.I'm stood here now six foot 14 stone. I ain't got an ounce of fat on me. But when I boxed, I boxed at 12 stone as a professional.
I think when I realized I could fight, and I belonged in a professional game, was actually sparring, not fighting. It was sparring, which is obviously, you know, sparring is head guard, bigger gloves, controlled boxing, but obviously, you can knock people out, which I've done on numerous occasions.
But sparring a guy called Howard Eastman in Fort Lauderdale and he was fighting Bernard Hopkins and I was his chief sparring partner. Rob McCracken trained him as well as me. Rob was obviously looking after me but we went out there on camp and I did a training camp with Howard Eastman, who was a solid fighter.
I mean he beat Rob McCracken, he beat my coach in the European title fight and he went on to fight for two world titles. The sparring with him made me realize actually I belong in the pro game because he went on and gave Bernard Hopkins a real tough 12-round fight.
I was kind of dominating the sparring against Howard Eastman and I was thinking to myself, okay, I think I was British champion at the time when I was out there. But even at British champion, I didn't really believe I was good enough to become a world champ. I was like just skirting around domestic level. I won the British title in the first round knocked out a guy called Damon Hague.
But yeah, sparring and training with world-class professional boxers. It wasn't just Howard Eastman. There's a few other fighters around the camp and around the gyms that were sparring. I was thinking to myself, yeah, I'm pretty good. I can cope with this and I reckon one day I'll win a world title. So that was probably 2005/2006. I won my world title in 2008.
I just like the fact that he was so entertaining and had such an unusual boxing style. He was a knockout puncher. So his entertainment factor, the low hold guard, big uppercuts from outer range, and the razzmatazz of it all. It was just entertaining to watch.
I mean, he was pay-per-view, he was box office Nassim Hamid. He wasn't the first to do it. Herol Graham did it, Roy Jones Jr, phenomenal fighter with speed, somebody else who I looked up to.
All the fighters that I looked up to and really appreciated were far better than me. More skillful, faster hands, Sugar Ray Leonard, fast hands, skillful, Roy Jones Jr, really fast and skilful.
Then when I got into watching more boxing, I realized I was more of a Roberto Duran or Marvin Hagler. tTat sort of a style where you're going to have to stand and take a few shots to get yours off.
Standing in punching range and actually get punched in the face to land a couple of punches in the face. Bit of an exchange rather than rather than be out of range, box and move, and master the art of pugilism. The sweet science, hit and don't get hit.
I mean, not many managed to do it, but only the ones that do it are exceptionally fast. And I was never that fast.
I mean, you look at 100-meter sprint. There's a deciding factor. There's a definitive factor of the people that line up for that 100 meter sprint. And not many of them look like me.
So I never had the speed, but I've got the heart. I've got the toughness. I've got the courage. I've got the refusal to quit. I don't quit. I'm fiercely competitive and I'm just a mean motherfucker.
I'm strong and hard and I can't be knocked out. And whether that's my Polish ancestry, my Polish gene, whether that's my mindset. I don't know what it is, but I'm fit, strong, tough, and I will not give up. And that's why I became world champion, because of them attributes.
Listen, Calzaghe was a fantastic fighter, unbeaten in 46 fights. There's fights that he should have rematched. He should have rematched Robin Reed.
When he was WBO champion under Frank Warren for most of his career, he was fighting Goat Herders. You know, his first defence was against the Goat Herder.
He fought Tocker Pudwill. He fought Manfredo. You go down his record, he's fought a load of tomato cans in defences.
But I'm not going to slag him off because he beat Mikkel Kessler, a guy that beat me. I beat Kessler in a rematch. At the end of his career, he also fought Roy Jones Jr. who was well past his best.
But the good win on his career was Benard Hopkins who still went on to win world titles after Calzaghe beat him. So that was a good win, but it was a very close one that actually a lot of people thought that Hopkins won.
So listen, you can pick holes in anybody's career. What I'm not gonna do is slag Calzaghe off, but what I won't concede is that it would have been a mismatch or it would have been a one-sided performance.
Like a lot of Calzaghe fans are very loyal. They'll say, 'oh, he'd have beat Froch, he'd have done this to him, he'd have done that. Froch wasn't ready for him.'
Well, I'll tell you what, I was mandatory for Joe Calzaghe's WBC title. I was the number one spot. He had to fight me or vacate the belt. And I wanted to fight him. I was tapping on his door. Anybody home? I'm ready for you. Let's go. Let's do it. And Joe Calzaghe vacated the title. He vacated the WBC title. That's the facts.
So the reason that I never fought Calzaghe is because he didn't want to fight me because he vacated that title. Now he'll say he went on to earn more money and he wanted to do something in America and he stepped up to light heavyweight because he was getting old, which is all kind of true to a degree.
But I think you should defend your belt. I think you should defend your mandatories. But it would have been a great fight. I could have lost that fight on points. Quite easily, I could have lost on points.
I think I would have had to stop him, force a stoppage or knock him out to get the win. But it would have been a great fight. But either way, we'll never find out, we'll never know because he vacated the title.
Unless he fancies a roll around in an exhibition. And that could be possible. Because I heard something about Calzaghe piping up saying he wouldn't roll out an exhibition with the Cobra. So Joe Calzaghe, if you fancy an exhibition with the Cobra, and if there is any unanswered questions that's in your head, because I went on and won that WBC title and had an absolutely amazing career and one could argue that I would have beat Joe and one could argue that he would have beat me.
But there's no hard feelings, there's nothing but respect for Joe, he's a hall of famer, undefeated in 46 fights, he fought a Goat Herder and he didn't ever rematch Robin Reed, which he should have done. And he was in a couple of close ones that could have gone either way. But that's boxing.
The history remains and the record book states he is unbeaten in 46 fights. He's a Hall of Famer. He had a great career and I've got nothing but respect and admiration for him. And if he wants to fight in an exhibition fight, I'm willing to talk.
I found it tough fighting in Atlantic City, because I trained in Manhattan, for the fight with Glengoffe Johnson.
So I was training for Johnson in New York, it was all quite new, flagging down the yellow cabs and going to Gleeson's gym, going to the Trinity gym, it was exciting. I'm in New York.
When I beat Johnson, I went back to New York for my very next fight, trained in the same place to fight Andre Ward. And it was hot and humid and it was just boring. I'd been there seen it, done it. I'd had enough.
I was like, couldn't this fight be in Vegas or somewhere different? Because Atlantic City, the Boardwalk Empire, is actually the poor man's Las Vegas. That was Las Vegas before Las Vegas came along. It's like Blackpool on steroids.
I was just pissed off, bored, miserable, training every day. And I got in the ring and my attitude carried into the performance with Ward. Ward's a fantastic winner. He knows how to win. I don't think he's a great fighter.
I had a fight with Andre Ward. I went 12 rounds. I lost a split decision, 150 and 130 on two scorecards. So I lost by one round, a one-round swing and we're retaining our titles and the fight's a draw.
I felt like I wasn't in a fight. I felt like I got out of the ring. My hands weren't hurting. I had no marks on my face. I was up and about the next day. No problem. I didn't go to hospital. I had no stitches in my eyes. No perforated eardrums, no bust ribs. I mean, I was like, fucking hell, get me home for Christmas. You know what I mean? It was just horrible.
So I didn't enjoy that fight with Andre Ward. I didn't enjoy the training camp, the build-up, because I'd already done it for the Johnson fight. And the fight itself was a pickpocket job. So yeah, I look back, that's one that I didn't like.
But to answer your question about hometown advantage, I think there is a big advantage with home not just because of the crowd, because that, you kind of switch off from the crowd. It's nice to hear the crowd cheering when you're landing your shots, and not booing when you're landing your shots.
Like when I boxed Mikkel Kessler in Denmark in Copenhagen, I lost that fight with Kessler, a very close fight that could have gone either way but I was away in Denmark and the whole crowd was like 10,000 people behind Mikkel Kessler.
So when I was landing my shots and putting my shots together you could hear a pin drop like there was no noise and when he was throwing a jab and throwing right hands and I was blocking shots and rolling shots and the crowd was going absolutely mental. And I could hear the crowd roaring. I was like, he's not landing any shots. And then I'd get on top of him and then the crowd would quieten down.
But when you're at home and the crowd's behind you, I think that does help. It is a bit of a factor, a little bit of one. But the main advantage of fighting at home is you're drinking your own water that you readily distil. Reverse osmosis water with your own added minerals. Don't drink none of that tap water shite. Who knows what they're putting in tap water.
We know what goes into the tap water. We know some of the key ingredients, including fluoride, but I don't drink any of that shit and I hadn't done it for 20 years. Hence the reason why my pineal gland is so clear and my third eye is wide open to all the treachery that's going on in the world at the minute. But that's another subject.
Home crowd advantage is a massive advantage because of your diet, your sleep and the fact that you're at home and you've got homely comforts and you can relax and sleep in your own bed, even when you've got family, you can just get it organized nicely.
I mean, get the wife sleeping with the girls. I'm in my own bed, I'm on my own. It's only two, three days before the fight when you're resting because I'm in camp other than that. So two, three days at home in your own environment, straight down to the arena, 10 minutes away from your front door, do the job, come home. So yeah, it is an advantage.
To be honest I want to say neither, but the Kessler fight probably was a little bit tougher because it was my first loss.
But mentally I didn't feel like I'd been beaten if that makes sense. I never felt like I'd been beaten up. I lost to Mikkel Kessler in a fight that if that fight was in England. I'm not going to take anything away from Kessler. I lost the fight. He beat me. The record's stated and I'm not going to say I got robbed. I'm just not going to say that.
But it was so close, the fight was so close. I beat Mikkel Kessler up that bad. I detached his retina, broke his jaw, busted his nose, and he went straight to hospital, came out of hospital, did a medical, and retired from boxing.
So for me, for me that wasn't a loss. That was a fight between man, warrior versus warrior, blood, sweat, and tears, leave it all on the line, and I lost the decision.
I was still in the tournament. I was in the Super Six World Boxing Classic. Kessler had retired, gone, because he was injured. Came back a few years later for the rematch, got himself sorted.
But that loss was probably more mentally hard to come back from just because I lost my belt. I was in the tournament, the Super Six tournament, and if I'd lost my next fight, I'd have been out of the tournament.
So I had to make sure that my head was right and I was well prepared. But all that just gave me the extra edge in the training camp. I was like a machine. After losing to Kessler in the first fight.
My next fight back was against a guy called Arthur Abraham, who was 33 fights unbeaten. I think he got one disqualification loss, which don't really count. Knocking out everybody. Proper monster, beast of a fighter. But I just thought, no, same promoter, Sauerland, they've got him. I'm not losing to this promoter twice. No chance.
I'm not fighting him in his back garden. We made sure we didn't go to his town. I think he's from Armenia, but we didn't go to Germany. We didn't go to wherever they wanted to go, Denmark. We had that fight on neutral territory. We went out to Finland.
And it took a lot of negotiation on my part with the promoters and the TV networks to get that fight on neutral territory. So we got to Finland, we got to select the judges or get the second say on the judges. We didn't need the judges anyway.
I was so fit and strong and mentally on it and I just absolutely whitewashed him for 12 rounds, battered him. That Arthur Abraham fight was a proper whooping. It was like a flawless victory against the proper machine of a fighter.
But it was mentally tough for me to come back from that because I'd lost my belt for the first time. First loss as a professional. And it was painful. I lost my WBC title. So I had to stay strong and believe in myself. But that made me train really hard.
The Andre Ward loss, like I said earlier, didn't feel like a loss. Felt like he pickpocketed me. I mean, didn't feel like I was in a fight. So after that, I was just, I was enraged. And the training camp for that was awesome.
Poor old Lucian Bute came to Nottingham, my hometown, and got absolutely fucking mauled for five rounds. And that was the result of somebody who's been in America in Atlantic City for the second time, bored stiff, been fiddled out of a fight against Andre Ward, and then came back like a machine to prove to everybody. Everybody thought I was gonna lose.
Only my family and my coach and my brother thought I could win that fight. A handful of people thought I could win and look in the way in which I won. So, mentally it's come back from the Ward fight, no problem. Kessler fight was a bit more, but yeah, I think I've explained it.
He's done really well. I mean, he's a bit of a late bloomer, but yeah, fantastic.
I was there that night when he flattened Conlon in the last round. I always knew he was good enough and had the ability. He's got quite an elusive, awkward style and he punches hard for a featherweight.
I was there when he got knocked out by Lara, clipped on the chin, went over and beat him in a rematch, made the rematch quite easy, he did.
Then that fight against Josh Warrington, again on his back foot. Snatched victory from the jaws of defeat with that stoppage win.
So I'm really proud of Leigh Wood, he's a fantastic fighter. He's probably got two or three more big fights in him hopefully, make some money and then retire.
I just worry about him at featherweight. I think he needs to go up to Super Feather but there's a couple of good fighters up at Super Featherweight including Joe Cordina who's British IBF champion.
So maybe a rematch with Josh Warrington at the City Ground where he can get paid well would be a good idea for him.
But yeah, Leigh Wood's a great fighter, fantastic. I'm behind him every step of the way. I've even given him the sheriff badge, Sheriff of Nottingham. I've passed it on to him.
I think it's a totally different audience. I don't think it hinders or helps boxing unless there's these top fighters fighting crossover fights, and there isn't really.
Tyson Fury did it as a heavyweight, but he's fought an MMA fighter, and he's not fought one of them fucking YouTube clowns.
I mean, Jake Paul, what a fucking clown he is. He can't fight, can he? He's trying to be a fighter, but that's the same as me trying to do some of them TikTok dances he did early in his career, it's just not gonna happen.
So I don't think it's good for the sport, I don't think it's bad for the sport. I think if somebody like Tommy Fury can earn millions of quid fighting them, then fair play to him, but he's one of thousands of fighters that's lucky because he's getting that opportunity.
It's not happening for the rest of the fighters. You've got good old-fashioned professional boxers like Leigh Wood, for example, earning a tenth of the money and they're genuine world champions. For the money that he's earning to fight Jake Paul and KSI.
So fair play to Tommy, cash in while you can. He's not good enough to become a professional world boxing champion. I don't think he'd win the British title as a professional.
So if he can make an obscene amount of money for fighting these fucking performing clowns like Jake Paul and KSI, then fair play to him. Get on with it, take the money and run. I've got nothing against it.
I don't know, to be honest. I mean I looked at Andre August a couple of weeks ago when the fight was announced, I had nothing better to do.
I just had a quick look at it and he's ranked about 250-something in the world. I don't even think there's 250 Cruiserweights in the world, to be honest.
So he's probably the worst professional licensed Cruiserweight in the world by that strength for that ranking on BoxRec.
He's picking his opponents very wisely, Jake Paul. What I will say is, he's at least trying to be a professional by fighting a professional fighter. He fought Tommy Fury, who's a pro.
He's now fighting another professional fighter. So he's obviously trying to be a little bit serious about the game, but he's left it too late. He's absolutely crap. He can't box. Everything he does is wrong.
He probably just needs to turn it in. But if he's making money and his fans want to see him fight, then you can see why he's doing it.
He's trying to fight at a professional level, but he's fighting somebody who's hopeless. It's like a journeyman fight for him. So I'd expect he wins, expect him to win, but don't be surprised if he loses, because he lost to Tommy Tury. You could say Tommy Fury's area level box, pro box. So that shows you where Jake Paul is.
I thought tommy would probably batter him and I wanted to see him get beat up and see how he responded but actually Tommy Fury made hard work of it. He's not very good himself.
But it is what it is, they can do it they can make money. Listen, I've got no problem with people nicking a living they can blag itm mate. I'm all for a good blag, and that's what he's doing.
He's making money, just fighting nobodies and all his audience, they're tuning in, the paying to watch that gobshite. I mean, that show that was put on, wherever it was, when KSI fought Tommy.
I mean, that whole show was, I mean, there were a couple of fights on the undercard, actually, they were competitive. But the actual main event, the chief support of the main event, fucking hell, somebody smash the television in, please. Have I got to keep watching this?
I went out to watch it as well, I was fuming. I should have just fucking watched it at home. I went out, watched it and it was crap, but there you go.
I think there's a problem with the money involved now with Saudi Arabia. I mean, because the Saudi model goes against the actual working business model of professional boxing, you know, you need to sell tickets, fill a venue.
Whether that's the York or Bethnal Green with 2000 people, the Nottingham arena with 8,000 people, the O2 with 20,000 maybe, and then MEN maybe a little bit more than the O2. Or Wembley stadium with 80,000. The more tickets you sell, the more revenue generated at the gate.
Then the better and the bigger the fight is, the more the TV broadcasters wanna show it and get their value, because they'll get people subscribing to their channels or tuning in and paying for the pay-per-view.
So you've got two sources of revenue there. You've got the television network and you've got the gate. And then you've got sponsorship.
But when you've got the Saudi Arabian money on the table, what you've got is you've still got the gate, but you're not really too interested in the gate, because that's not the massive part of the revenue anyway.
You've got the TV network still wants to show it on pay-per-view or on Sky or TNT, or DAZN, the one that Eddie Hearn's juggling with at the minute.
But then you've got this site fee. You've got this 50 million quid that Anthony Joshua gets, just for taking the fight, the rematch with Ruiz in Saudi Arabia.
So all of a sudden, all the business model and all the finance, everything goes out the window totally because you've got this absurd amount of money being given to one fighter.
That's all well and good for the one fighter that's getting that money in his bank account or he's putting in a BVI or his offshore British Virgin Islands account or wherever he's banking his dough, whatever he's doing with it, that's all well and good for him.
But for the sport itself, is that where it's going? Is that like the pinnacle now? Are we going to try and become an area champion, a British champion, a world champion and then once you're a world champion, is the aim to be then good enough or big enough to then get this Saudi money?
Because that's the cream now, that's the golden goose, isn't it? That's the golden ticket, if you like.
But it's only happening for a small amount of fighters. You've got Tyson Fury, you've got Anthony Joshua, and then you're kind of running out of names. I know Deontay Wilder is fighting Joseph Parker, but you've got a handful of people that are able to cash in and benefit.
You've got greedy promoters that will say, we're doing it for the fans, which is bullshit. That's bullshit. Them words came out of Frank Warren's mouth. We're doing it for the fans.
How many fans can afford to buy a ticket, jump on a plane and go out to Saudi Arabia? And you can't even have a pint of Guinness and watch the fight, right? Who wants to do it? And how many people can afford to do it? Nobody.
You're not doing it for the fans. You're doing it for your fucking bank balance. You're doing it for the money. Let's just be real. Let's be straight. It's an obscene amount of money. We're all human beings.
We all want the money. So I can understand, but don't try and tell us you're doing it for the fans.
Is it good for boxing? I don't know if it is good for boxing. It's probably not because it's stopping the big fights from happening. Anthony Joshua should be fighting Deontay Wilder, but instead they're now giving us Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder on the same card, fighting in fights that they're pretty much guaranteed to win.
I mean Otto Wallin will turn up and give AJ a bit of a fight. He's not bad. But really and truly AJ should be obliterating him. He might not, because AJ's a bit mentally fragile. He's going through his own sort of rebuilding journey, if you like. So that might actually be a bit of a tougher fight than we expect.
I would expect Deontay Wilder to iron out Joseph Parker, but I don't really care. I don't really care about AJ beating Wallin, who give Tyson not a bad fight, caught him and whatever, but Tyson looked like he was in second gear.
And I don't really care about watching Deontay Wilder knock out Parker. I've seen Joseph Parker lose a couple of times. He lost to AJ already. He lost to Dillian White, do you know what I mean? Who got knocked out by AJ with a big dirty uppercut, flattened. So I'm not interested in watching them two fights.
But on the same card with a good undercard with Dmitry Bivol and there's a couple of decent fighters going off, then the show itself holds together as something to watch.
But AJ should be in there with Deontay Wilder. I know we're now getting Tyson Fury, Usyk in February, apparently, allegedly. Let's see whether that happens.
Let's see if Tyson Fury can make the camp. Let's see if he can get through it. Let's see if he actually wants to do it. But again, there's probably that much money at stake. The fight will probably happen because, like I say, money controls everything, doesn't it? Let's be honest. In the Western world, cash is king. If the money's there, if it makes money, it makes sense.
The fans lose out because it's not at the Wembley Stadium or it's not at the O2 Arena. We can't go and physically watch the undisputed unified heavyweight championship of the world. We can't watch that fight. Or you can if you want to get on a plane and go to Saudi. And not many people from Britain do that to be honest. Because they just don't. We've seen it with the AJ v Ruiz rematch.
Yes, the AJ v Ruiz rematch.
And would I go myself? For the money, yes, of course I would. That's why I fight. Money in the bank, generational wealth. You know what I mean? So yeah, of course you would.
Employ a really good sports psychologist. Get his head right.
I think he's lost confidence since the since the Klitschko knockdown he was a bit tentative but he still had some fire in his belly and he was still firing on most cylinders. Have a little bit of a misfire every now and again a bit of a judder and the engine would cut that out then spark back up again.
He had some good performances after losing that after winning that fight with Klitschko. Climbed off the canvas to win that so fair play to him.
But when that little fat kid from Mexico, Andy Ruiz, smacked him with a few hooks and uppercuts and bashed him up and dropped him and then kind of forced him to quit in the corner because he could have carried on and he kind of didn't show the referee he wanted to be in there.
So a lot will argue that wasn't a quit, but for me that's a quit because when you're in the corner and the ref's talking to you, you stand in front of the referee, put your gloves up and you say, I'm ready, let's go. Come on, let's go, I wanna fight.
He was like arms on the ropes. Fucking hell, what's going on? I'm not enjoying this. I've been put down twice. Why is he hitting me in the face? That hurt. Do you know what I mean? Like a little bit entitled. It wasn't in the script, was it?
To be fair to him, it was a late replacement when Jarrell Miller pulled out of a drug test. But that's the team's fault for taking the fight. They should have known that Ruiz was actually quite dangerous.
But since that fight, Anthony Joshua has not been the same. I think he's got lots of demons in his head and he's got no confidence and he doesn't want to be offensive unless he knows the opponents absolutely knackered.
Like Pulev, took him nine rounds I think. Should have got him out of there in two or three rounds.
Like Robert Helenius who's not very good and old, but AJ waited till he was knackered in round nine or whatever it was to get him out of there. There's just no momentum, there's no come forward aggression, there's no offensive work from AJ with confidence.
He's just box, move, try not to get hit, keep out of the way, keep out of harm's way and don't really throw combination punches anymore. So I think AJ needs to get his head right and hopefully, for this Otto Wallin because when you look at Otto Wallin, he does believe in himself.
He's quite busy, throws a lot of punches. He's got quite fast hands. So hopefully he brings it to AJ and hopefully AJ doesn't go into his shell and lose that fight on points, which is possible.
Hopefully AJ uses his size, height, strength, uses the experience that he's got from being a fully-fledged world champion who's achieved good things in boxing. You know, he's become a two-time heavyweight champion.
He's got experience at world level, and he's fought the best. He's been in there with Usyk twice. So I would expect AJ to do the business.
But still a bit concerned about where his head is at and where his mindset is. Because when everything else is equal, when you've got the same physical attributes as your opponent, there's always been a difference in speed and size and weight, especially when being heavyweights.
But if somebody's just as good as you, and they're just as fast as you and just as fit as you, and they've got just as good a chin as you, and they've got the ability, what separates these two human beings? It's the mind. What's going off up there?
And unfortunately for Anthony Joshua, his head is all over the place. He doesn't even know where it is because you can tell when he talks, he has rants at press conferences, someone asks him a question, 'You can't ask me a question. Eddie Hearn's got to ask me a question!'
I mean, it's embarrassing. It's embarrassing and it's pathetic. Just answer the fucking question. Do you know what I mean?
So AJ has got to sort his head out and hopefully the Otto Waller fight will get it sorted and then he can go on and have an absolute blinder against Deontay Wilder. In a fight where he probably gets knocked out, but he might just not get knocked out. He might meet him as he comes, catch Deontay Wilder, it might be a great fight.
But if it carries on how it's going, we're not gonna find out always, because they're putting this show on in Saudi. And actually, it's taking the piss out of the fans, really. Let's be honest.
The thing about Canelo is he's boxed down at welterweight and he's like 5'7, 5'8. He's quite a small man, same as the Armenian Arthur Abraham. He's a different weight division.
Now, he went up to light heavyweight. Let's not forget he failed a drugs test. That's factual. He failed a drugs test up at light heavyweight and now he's back down to super middleweight. So, you know, it is what it is.
He's a great fighter, commands massive money. He's not a super middleweight. I don't think.
He beat Callum Smith. So Canelo Alvarez don't present me with any problems, any major problems at super middleweight.
So a current fighter at the minute that would give me problems is someone like Dmitry Bivol. I know he's light heavyweight, but he's not a massive light heavyweight, but that's where I would have been towards him.
If I'd have carried on, I'd have been up at light heavyweight. Now there's a quality fight. He beat Canelo Alvarez, actually, Bivol. He just fucking outboxed him, outworked him, beat him in close, beat him at range. Too busy, too fit, too good.
So, yeah, I'd say Dmitry Bivol would give me some serious problems. That'd be a great fight.
Leigh Wood, he's from Nottingham. He comes back from being behind and getting dropped to win. So yeah, I think Leigh Wood's very similar to me in terms of the mindset.
But my style was very raw and very sort of like vintage and I'd fight with a low guard and I'd take a shot and not really worry too much as long as I'm in range and I can have a fight with you and give a shot back. There's not many fighters like that now, to be honest. They don't want to get hit, they want to try and box and be skillful and move.
So, certainly in my weight division there's nobody who reminds me of me. I think I was unique. Hence the four world titles and the Hall of Fame stamp of approval.
You know, I can't say I'm looking at anyone saying, yeah, he reminds me of myself. I really can't.
Well, listen, what the Hall of Fame does, it gives you that rubber stamp on your career. If you think you've had a career and you think you've fought everybody you should have fought, and you think you've been a great four-time world champion, you can think all you want.
But when you get that call to go out to Canisota and do the parade and get given that Hall of Fame ring, and you go down in the history books, I went to that museum and my picture's right next to Roy Jones Jr. and above Mohammed Ali, next to Floyd Mayweather. It's all on that same run.
You look at them names and go back in history and see Roberto Duran and Sugar Ray Leonard and marvelous Marvin Hagler and Thomas Hearns. And you just think to yourself, wow, this is big.
It's not massive in England. It doesn't get the credit it deserves, but British fans are fickle. The British public get behind you to the point where they wanna tear you down and ruin you. The Americans celebrate greatness and they celebrate people that have achieved great things.
So it's a different mindset with the British public on how they celebrate their own people's success. And I've got to say, it's a little bit cynical in Britain. We don't get celebrated like we should do.
But yeah, I think it's really, really good. The hall of fame, mate. Look at who's been inducted. Look at how few people have been inducted from Britain over the last 30 years.
You realize that actually I'm in an elite club. There's only one person that stands up to the amount of world champions that I've been in, out of all fighters, and I'm not including the WBO world title in this because that is the title now.
Well, that title has now been acknowledged by the Americans and the Ring Magazine acknowledged the WBO. But the WBO years ago was a trinket belt. It's like the IBU and the IBO and some of them other world titles like they're just like paper, paper titles.
The main belts are the WBC, the WBA and the IBF. They're the three major titles. The WBO is now getting its recognition. Floyd Mayweather's held it and Canelo's had it. So it's now up there.
But when you look at actual world champions beaten by British fighters, there's only two fighters on the list that have beaten 10 world champions. That's me and Lennox Lewis.
Now people argue, well actually, Calzaghe's done the same and Prince Nassim Hamid's done the same. But that was with the WBO belt. When you've got the WBO belt, you can hand-select who you defend against.
Hence the reason why Joe Calzaghe's fought a goat herder in his first title defense. And he fought Peter Manfredo, who was a reality star boxer. And he fought Mario Veit twice, who was fucking useless. You know what I mean? And he didn't rematch Robin Reed.
If you're looking at statistics and facts, I mean, Joe Calzaghe is in the Hall of Fame. I've got nothing against him, he's had a great career. Undefeated in 46 fights, top fighter, proper good fighter, Calzaghe was. Proper tough, tough man, super fit, hard guy who could fight.
But there's not many others from Britain that belong in that elite category. So me, Lennox Lewis, Nassim Hamid, probably Barry McGuigan.
There's not many, you have to go back to like, Ken Buchanan. You know, people like that, that people wouldn't have heard about.
Henry Cooper was a decent heavyweight. But yeah, you've got to go right back and then you're looking at a handful of fighters.
I might be giving myself a big head here, blowing smoke up my own arse, why not?
I think he'll do really well. I think he's a good guy, Tony. He stands by his principles. He says some things that I agree with. He says them in an intense way and puts himself out there. He beat my best mate David Haye and I've still not fell out with him because he helped me sparring for some big world title fights. I think he'll do well. He's a man of principle but he's fair. He's a nice guy.
He comes across as this angry guy and he's got to calm down and that but he's a nice guy. He's got four kids, a loving wife, he's a family man, and he's a real avid Everton fan.
He'll take part in the challenges. He'll help out with the team. If anybody says anything you don't agree with, he'll tell them or hopefully he will unless he's playing the game a little bit.
But I think he'll do well. And he's up against it as well. There's some big household names in there. There's a couple of names that my missus has put. I don't know, fucking anyone. I don't watch TV. I don't watch any television that's on the like legacy media, I don't look at it.
I don't watch mainstream media. I don't watch Coronation Street, Emmerdale Farm, EastEnders, all that stuff. 20 years, don't bother with it.
I watch a few Netflix documentaries and I have a look at my own stuff on YouTube. I like listening to people. I listen to Joe Rogan quite a lot, three, four times a week. I just listened to a fascinating one with Derek Wolfe, an American football player.
And then I've just had Hulk Hogan, 71 years old, 17 operations, just married a 45-year-old, fucking machine that guy.
So I'd rather listen to people's bios and listen to them talk rather than watch propagated manipulated brainwashing bullshit on the mainstream channels. I really just don't, I've got no interest in being fed a narrative that suits the people that are in control of that particular incident at that particular time. And I won't go in too much into it. I think people that know, but I don't watch any mainstream media.
Would I go in the jungle? I'd probably go in the jungle, yes, because I didn't know none of the contestants, but I know Nigel Farage. I like Nigel Farage, by the way. I think he's brilliant. I hope he wins and that puts a few people off.
But yeah, I would go in the jungle to answer your question. I would just because my kids would love it if I went in the jungle. My kids would absolutely love it because they love watching all that, looking at all them challenges and them Bush Tucker trials. They love it. They sit and watch it.
I see Rocky watching it on his iPad and Rachel watches a bit of normal TV now again. I'll cast my eye over it. I think Ant and Dec are pretty good. They're good fun.
But yeah, I'd go in just for the kids, but really, do I want to be in the jungle for two weeks, lying around, talking to people I don't know. Watching what I say, eating kangaroo bollocks. Not really, do I? I mean, I've got a really sensitive gag reflex as well, I'd be throwing up eating that.
Saying that, I like to eat properly, I like to eat my protein, and if I was starving, I'd be like, kangaroo cock. I wonder how much protein that’s got in it? I could fry it and chop it up, I love something like that.
Yeah, it's great. It's really good for the city. I mean, I've got quite a big vested interest in Nottingham because that's where I live.
I go down, my friends got a box, I sit in the box. I watch it, I enjoy it. The reason I don't sit in the main stand, which I used to when I was younger when I was fighting, I was more of a Forest fan because I'd be down there more trying to nick a few of the fans to buy tickets for my boxing match, just how it works. Forest football has always been big in Britain.
You've got to try and nick the fans, haven't you? Probably being a little bit too honest there. But I ended up going down, watching, playing, getting friendly with the team players.
And now I go down, my friend's got a box, and I don't sit in the stands and sit in the chairs because it's not fair on the people that don't care who I am or know I am. Because everyone wants a picture and an autograph, and it's like, it's quite chaotic in Nottingham for me because I'm really well known.
So when I sit in the box with one of my friends, he's got a box there I go down there, sit in there watch the game take my son down sometimes. Soak up the atmosphere as best you can.
But yeah, I enjoy going down, enjoy the atmosphere. It's brilliant that Nottingham Forest are still in the Premier League. I think we're doing all right about mid-table. So great for the city. And the longer they're in, the more money and more cash will be injected into the city.
And yeah, that will in turn benefit my building business. Because most of my stuff's in Nottingham because when you live here, it's a lot easier to build here because you don't got to travel to get on-site.
To be honest, I think if you Google me, which I've done, because you do, you Google yourself to see if there's anything out there. I don't think there's anything on there, to be honest.
I'm quite a straight shooter, mate. I'm married, three kids, keep my head above water, go about my business, stay in lane, step out of line every now and again, but you don't want to upset too many people.
I've got my political views, which I keep to myself. I understand what's happening in the world at the minute, and the only thing I will say is while I'm on, leave the children alone. Stop with the children, leave the kids alone.
Let kids grow up, let kids grow up naturally and just let them be children. And then when they're 18, they can make their own mind about what they do with their life. That's one thing I'll say, without going into too much detail.
And secondly, I just think that you've gotta be protective of your rights and your freedoms. So your ability to move, your ability to speak out clearly, you know. We have a right in this country to free speech and free movement.
I think that everybody should kind of protect that. If anybody can protect their freedom of movement and their freedom of speech, I think they should. And they're under the cosh. They're under the cosh at the workplace. They're under the cosh when they go to public places and people are biting the tongue and not saying what actually they really feel.
To answer your question, I don't think she'd see much to be honest. And Google gets censored now, doesn't it? Wikipedia's not true, is it? Wikipedia's actually a private company and they can do what they want with it. So things are not what they seem.
So be careful what you see on Google. Maybe get onto DuckDuckGo instead. Things are censored, mate, but there's nothing on Google that she could search and find that I've done. I've got a clean criminal record, I've paid all my taxes.
Like I said, I've got three kids and they keep you grounded and your priorities are your children, so you kind of stay in lane and mind your own business. You just go about your business every day.
But when I Googled Rachel, she was Miss Maxim in 2008. She looked beautiful, gorgeous. And I thought, I've got a chance. I've just won the world title. I've got a chance.
And it happened that she was a big Mixed Martial Arts fan. Her dad was a massive boxing fan. And when I spoke to him, when I went to meet him, I met her dad, it was just, we just got on so well.
She would have Googled me and seen that I was world champ. If she Googles me now, she'll see that I'm a Hall of Fame legend.