Carl Froch was ‘falling out of love’ with boxing until Wembley Stadium rematch with George Groves inspired him for one last training camp

Carl Froch had admitted his love for boxing was dying towards the end of his career, but the George Groves rematch reignited the fire inside of him for one last big fight.
The ‘Cobra’ joined talkSPORT’s Fight Of My Life to relive his contest with Jermain Taylor this week and the full show is set to air on Sunday night at 9:30pm.
Froch and Groves shared an epic rivalryGetty Images – Getty
However, Froch concluded by reflecting on how his career ended – with that famous KO of Groves.
He had been planning to retire after beating Mikkel Kessler in their rematch in 2013, feeling he had lost the love of the sport.
But a young, brash Groves tempted him to extend his time in the ring and ultimately bring it to an end on that famous night at Wembley.
He recalled: “I was able to sit ringside and commentate on Anthony Joshua when fought Wladimir Klitschko and I looked around the stadium and it was then that I realised – actually, I have done this.
“I have boxed in the middle of this ring, at Wembley Stadium, in front of 80,000 fans. I just said 80,000 fans – I got it in there!
“I couldn’t remember doing that when I actually did it against George Groves because I was so tunnel visioned.
“I was almost in a state of hypnosis on the ring walk because I was so focused, so determined to do the job, I didn’t take it in. It was a boxing ring with a guy in front of me, with a bald swede with a bit of ginger hair. And he was getting knocked out. That is all I was thinking.
Groves floored Froch in their first meetingGetty Images – Getty
“I lost the first Kessler fight fair and square. I thought it was close, but I kind of knew I’d lost on the night.
“But the rematch was a big moment. In front of 20,000 fans at the O2 Arena in London, the biggest crowd I had fought in front of, on pay-per-view. I was starting to earn a bit of proper money for being a prize fighter.
“I’d started to fall out of love with the sport. I had a young family, had earned a lot of money, had become a world champion multiple times and had just challenged Mikel Kessler and I beat him fair and square in a rematch in a great, close fight that everybody loved.
“I thought, ‘What else was there left to do?’
“But actually there was a kid called George Groves who wanted to challenge me for my belts and was mandatory for my IBF.
“I boxed Groves and nearly got beat in the first fight. I wasn’t fit, wasn’t well prepared and didn’t train properly. I got beat up for six rounds and managed to turn it around and forced a stoppage.
“The controversy with Howard Foster jumping in and stopping the fight created the rematch which was massive at Wembley.
“I got away with the [first] fight by the skin of my teeth. Even though I won the fist fight, I was feeling like I needed redemption. It felt like a loss.
Wembley Stadium hosted the rematchGetty Images – Getty
The controversial stoppage was a huge talking pointGetty Images – Getty
“Even though I won, the media and crowd response was that I lost the fight and I was lucky to get the stoppage.
“I knew I was going to fight him again but I was thinking, ‘I didn’t want to fight him once, and I got beat up for six rounds, now I have got to fight him again in a rematch.’
“But it is massive, it is at Wembley Stadium, so you know what I am going to do for this one? I am going to train, I’m going to make sure I turn up in the best possible shape a 36, nearly 37-year-old, can and do the business, which is what I ended up doing.
“I had a proper 12-week camp with some great sparring with Chris Eubank Jr and the boys at the England squad at the EIS in Sheffield. My diet, nutrition, my head space, I couldn’t have been any better than I was.
Froch settled the dispute with his eighth-round KO in the rematchGETTY
“The thing that got me there was knowing it was my last fight.
“Every morning run I did, I’d tell myself this is my last camp.
“Every sparring session I did with Tony Bellew trying to decapitate me and Chris Eubank Jr trying to prove a point, this is the last sparring session. This is it. I’m done after this.
“I knew it was curtains for my career after that rematch.”

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