Carl Froch assured his fans they will see him at his very best tomorrow night when he defends his IBF super middleweight title against Yusaf Mack at the Capital FM Arena in Nottingham on Saturday.
The Cobra is 50-1 on in places to beat the Philadelphian challenger in his ninth consecutive World title fight and fourth in his hometown fortress – 1-25 on Betfair – but the 35 year old insists he has put the same work into his first defence as IBF champion as he did when he won the belt in stunning fashion against Lucian Bute in May.
“I’ve trained just as hard for this fight as I did for the Bute fight,” said Froch at today’s weigh-in, where he tipped the scales at 11st 13lb 8oz, with Mack coming in at 12st. “The training, the physical side of it: the runs, the groundwork and the sparring, have been just as hard as last time. You’ve got to be in tip-top shape for every single fight, if I turned up 50 per cent fit for Mack then I’m probably going to get beat. It’s as simple as that. I can’t just take my foot off the gas and think “Oh, I’ve got an easy fight”. There’s no such thing as an easy fight, so I turn up fully prepared for whoever I’m fighting.
“This is a World title fight so he’ll come and try to cause an upset. He can punch a bit, because he’s a light heavyweight, so he’s going to probably try to catch me out early on and maybe let a barrage of shots off early. So I need to be cute, clever and box behind my jab and just find my feet for the first three or four rounds before I close the distance and close that fighting gap and start letting some artillery go.
“I’ve made the mistake in the past of not turning up 100 per cent and I nearly came unstuck against Dale Westerman. It was the warm-up fight before I boxed Brian Magee defending my British title and it was a hard night’s work, it was tough. It was nine rounds of me getting my head punched in until I closed the show in the ninth. But that was supposed to be an easy walk in the park for me but it was probably one of my hardest fights because I wasn’t fully prepared, I took him lightly. I’m too professional to not take this guy seriously.
“I’ve sparred a lot with Tony Bellew – a World champion in waiting in my opinion – done some hard, long runs and some hill-work which is very difficult and my groundwork has stepped up a level and I’m feeling it. It builds up getting harder and harder until fight week when I take my foot off the gas, recover and then explode tomorrow. I’m going to be ready.”
November 16, 2012