Carl Froch - Exclusive Interview with OLBG

Updated: 174 Boxing and MMA

Froch talks to OLBG about this weekend’s fight between Katie Taylor and Chantelle Cameron, Amir Khan’s drug ban and his interest in fighting YouTuber-turned-boxer Jake Paul and UFC star Conor McGregor.

Carl Froch - Exclusive Interview with OLBG

Pasi Taavitsainen, CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

Steve Madgwick Editor-In-Chief

Editor-In-Chief with 20 years experience covering the betting angles to breaking news stories. Daily slots player, Portsmouth fan and League Snooker Player

Boxing legend Carl Froch was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2022 after a glittering career that finished with a knockout win over George Groves at Wembley Stadium.

Q. Does Katie Taylor beat Chantelle Cameron and who is better, Taylor or Claressa Shields?

Katie Taylor was a top amateur. Shields is the more naturally talented fighter, not Taylor. Taylor is past her best but still a top fighter. But most of her wins come from pure workrate, which is a credit to her fitness.

Katie will get past Chantelle Cameron. I think Cameron is a good fighter but Katie outworks her.

Image: Shutterstock/lev radin

A Betting Guide to Women's Boxing

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Q. Who wins in a rematch between Chris Eubank Jr and Liam Smith?

Liam Smith is the favourite in the rematch. However, I didn’t see anything wrong with Chris Eubank Jr particularly. Maybe he crashed the weight. He was down to 157 pounds for Conor Benn and that fight didn’t happen, then went straight into the camp for Liam Smith. 

He didn’t get enough rest, maybe that’s an excuse for him. Or Liam Smith is a better fighter naturally. He comes from a boxing family, and had a great career at amateur and professional level.

Everytime Eubank Jr fought a big opponent he lost. He lost to Billy Joe Saunders, and then George Groves beat him. He did beat James DeGale - but he was a shadow of himself and retired shortly after. I’m still not convinced that I will come into the fight full of energy or with the toughness to withstand Liam Smith. I know Eubank Jr is tough because I have spared him and he went 12 rounds with Groves and Saunders.

A Betting Guide to the Boxing Middleweight Division

A Betting Guide to the Boxing Middleweight Division

If he can do that, how come he can’t beat Liam Smith? He hasn’t gone through so many tests in his career to the point where he can’t take a punch like Amir Khan - who as soon as he takes a punch is completely shot to bits. I think Eubank took too much weight off. If he has a better camp and keeps hydrated in  the rematch, he may regain his punch absorption. Though, he has shown he will definitely struggle. He took a couple of bad shots in the early rounds of the fight and it could have been easily stopped way earlier than it was. Eubank Jr has seen better days, Liam wins the rematch.

Q. Would you still be interested in fighting Jake Paul?

I would always be interested in fighting someone who can’t fight like Jake Paul. It's like someone giving you a suitcase full of money - you won’t say no. I would train for it, I stay in the gym anyway and keep myself in good shape. Right now I am 45 and I retired at 36-37. There is a reason that I retired as after a certain age, the weight cut becomes way too difficult. 

I wouldn’t make the weight for Jake Paul - I would be 14 stone. If a fight was on the cards - which it isn’t because Paul realised he can’t fight after losing to Tommy Fury and he wasn’t even British level at the time, then I would fight him because like I said before it is easy money.

Pasi, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Also the risk and reward ratio makes sense. The reason why I didn't fight again is because the money wasn’t what I needed, my health was at risk and I have three kids. With Jake Paul, there is little to no risk.

Anderson Silva could have done way better against Jake Paul. He is an MMA legend and to me it didn’t look like he tried. From a trained eye, it didn’t look like a full performance. Jake Paul tried against Tommy Fury and realised very quickly that he can’t fight against a Novice pro. For Jake Paul he was in a win-win situation, because if he wins people will take him more seriously but if he doesn’t win, everyone will say that ‘’he fought a professional fighter’’. It is an excuse. 

He was beaten really easily by Tommy Fury though - who once again, isn’t even British Level. That’s no disrespect to Tommy Fury, anyone will tell you the same. You wouldn’t put him in with the British Champion at light heavyweight at the minute, would you? Jake Paul thought he would be brilliant against Tommy Fury and fight for a WBC belt. He is absolutely useless and he can’t fight.

Q. Amir Khan has been banned after failing a drug test around the Kell Brook fight. What did you think of that?

I questioned why it came out more than a year later. With drug testing, I don’t think the procedure is stringent enough. You have UKAD, Vada and the BBBC, they are the testing people plus the sanctioning bodies. So between the BBBC and the independent drug testers, I feel they can’t get a process in place where if someone fails a drug test, establish when it was. 

Usually if they fail a test it’s because they were on the PED during the contest, which is dangerous. But I feel there is no process in place that is efficient enough to punish fighters immediately. If Khan failed a drug test the night of the fight, why has it taken over a year to punish him? Over a year? The guy is retired and because it has taken so long and they have banned someone who is retired, I think it’s farcical. Unless I’m missing something, what is the point in banning someone who is retired? He’s not coming out of retirement, his last performance against Brook was shocking. 

He needed to retire. But I think between BBBC and drug testing bodies, and the sanctioning bodies, I think there needs to be a centralised system in place for someone to go to and say the fighter has failed a test, it’s for this PED, and this is what we do now. 

First offence should be a three-year ban, it’s a long time but it won’t ruin them depending on how old they are. The ban should be immediate, then a zero tolerance to second strikes. If you fail again you’ve had your warning, you’ve done it again, give me a licence you don’t deserve to be in a ring again.

You’re not finishing races by half a second, you’re punching someone in the head and you can kill someone. So if you’re going to drug cheat in a combat sport you’re potentially going to kill someone, so surely you’re potentially up for manslaughter. You’re not intending to kill, but it’s borderline manslaughter. It’s disgusting. I think it needs a big reboot, a wake-up in boxing. A new process in place that works.

Khan failed a drug test over a year ago, now he’s banned for two years, it’s farcical. He needs banning as he failed, but there shouldn’t be a debate about it being trace amounts as he said. Who cares it’s trace amounts? The fact is it’s in your system. 

I’ve never failed a drug test, never taken drugs in my life. So if you have trace amounts or massive amounts it doesn’t matter, the fact is you failed a drugs test. I don’t need to know how much was in your blood stream, all I need to know is that you failed. Right, you’re banned. 

Then they go down the route of trying to prove contamination. It’s too ambiguous and something needs to be done, because there are lots of clean athletes who never failed a test, and I’m one of them.

Q. You had a back and forth with Khan over the years, with his wife even calling you out at one point. Do you think you get a hard time for simply being honest?

Khan hasn’t reached out before over our back-and-forth, every time I see him he’s polite to me, I have no personal beef with Khan at all. I’m cut from the same cloth as Roy Keane. Khan’s welcome any time, he’s welcome to come on my YouTube chat. 

I think Khan has a stacked CV, he’s a legend. Didn’t win every fight and he’s been knocked out a few times, but he’s had a great career. His wife piped up because she was annoyed over what I said about the Brook fight, where I said his legs had turned to Bambi which they did and I said he needs to retire and he did.

I’m not saying he took my advice but it shows I was right. I have no beef with him, great fighter. It’s a shame now that he’s now got this stain on his career with this drug test. Because it’s ambiguous and we don’t fully know the details, it kind of makes a mockery of it all.

Dwayne Chambers failed a drug test and it ruined his life, destroyed him. He said it destroyed him, his friends, family and career, everything was over. How many boxers have failed tests lately? A lot have failed and then just go on to have great careers after a small ban. Something needs to be done.

Some substances are used to mask steroids, to get your body back to where it should be after you’d taken a cycle of drugs. 

I’m not a scientist, but people doing the testing and regulating boxing, for the safety of boxers should know everything. They should have a Masters Degree in every single thing that is found traced in the blood.

Q. How about Conor McGregor?

Image: shutterstock/motorsports Photographer

In a boxing ring, Conor McGregor doesn’t stand a chance. I was there when he fought Floyd Mayweather - who was half my size. Bearing in mind this was a retired and past his best Floyd Mayweather. In a boxing ring- where all the pay-per-view money is, Conor McGregor does not stand a chance against the Cobra. I will back myself 100% to beat him.

I have the utmost respect for him though. MMA is such a hard sport. This is a kid from Ireland who came from nothing and made something of himself. He has put himself in the position to make so much money and you just have to admire him. Would he beat me in a boxing ring? No chance! If he did want to fight me, I would love it because it is another free suitcase of cash isn’t it.

Q. Which opponents surprised you the most?

George Groves’ power shocked me. No-one in the 39 years of the super middleweight division would have handled what he hit me with in the first six rounds of our fights, and I'm saying this after beating him twice.

Andre Ward hugged me 97 times over 12 rounds. That is 8.1 hugs per round. That wasn’t the most talked about fight leading up to it. He was a massive spoiler. He made a massive career of holding and spoiling. He shocked me with how bad he was.

Glen ‘’Coffee’ Johnson was an old man when I fought him but he was tough as nails. I hit him with so many shots. Arthur Abraham was also a tough one who I mauled for 12 rounds. I think that’s what I would do to Canelo - hit him with combination punches to the body and head for the duration of the fight. But Johnson was a tough man.

Q. Who are your top pound-for-pound boxers in the world right now?

Pound for pound is subjective but here's my six.

  1. Oleksandr Usyk
  2. Naoya Inoue
  3. Terrance Crawford
  4. Errol Spence Jr
  5. Artur Beterbiev
  6. Gervonta Davis 

Usky is ranked pound-for-pound Number 1 by Carl Froch - Andriy Makukha (Amakuha), CC BY-SA 4.0

Q. Who would win between Jake Paul and Mike Tyson?

Mike Tyson would knock him out really bad. Dangerous move for Jake Paul, he’s absolutely useless, didn’t know he was still fighting! 

Q. You openly said you banned sex before fights. Did that make you punch harder?

Women weaken legs! Old Micky quote from Rocky and it’s true. Well I think so anyway!

Q. Apart from George Groves, what was your favourite KO?

Favourite KO was Bute at home in Nottingham for the IBF World title. He was unbeaten and the crowd was electric that night. 

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