In an exclusive interview with BettingSites.co.uk, former Super-Middleweight World Champion, Carl Froch, launched another broadside at Conor McGregor, slated Tyson Fury’s decision to fight Francis Ngannou and revealed Anthony Joshua’s deficiencies.
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- Fury fighting Ngannou is an absolute load of s**t, he’s ducking Usyk
- McGregor was talking s**t, he’d regret stepping in a boxing ring with me
- McGregor’s whiskey ‘Proper No. Twelve’ tastes like proper s**t
- Lack of stamina among reasons Joshua has no chance against Fury
- I’d watch Fury v Wilder again – but it’s a pointless fight
- Fury doesn’t deserve to be in boxing Hall of Fame if he retires now
Question: You spoke about your disdain for crossover fights like MMA fighters fighting boxers, what about Conor McGregor though – you’ve called him out a couple of times?
Carl Froch: “Conor McGregor was talking s**t, wasn’t he? Talking nonsense about me and piping up. Then I think he realised that actually, if he takes me on in my discipline in boxing, it’s going to be even worse than what happened to him when he fought Mayweather. Mayweather is a quality fighter, but he’s small, he’s a light boxer. I’m quite heavy and I’m even heavier now. Been retired for nine years and I keep myself in shape. So I think he realises that you don’t want to be getting in the boxing ring with me which is fair enough.”
“Conor McGregor, I’ve got to be honest, I’ve got loads of respect for him because he’s smashed it. He’s had some real tough and brave fights. He’s had his leg snapped, his head smashed in and he’s been choked out. He’s made himself a fortune. I’ve got a lot of admiration for him. But if a crossover fight between me and Conor McGregor could happen and people wanted to see it, that’s the important thing, then I’d happily participate in a boxing match.”
Q: In terms of Tyson Fury. There’s talk of him fighting Oleksandr Usyk, but nothing seems to be getting sorted. What do you think is preventing it from happening?
CF: “I don’t know. It’s frustrating because Tyson offered him a 70-30 split, which Usyk then took and then we don’t know if Tyson stopped that fight from happening or if Usyk then changed the parameters of whatever the deal was. We’re told certain things by Frank Warren, Tyson Fury’s promoter, and then we have to listen to Usyk’s team. Even me being inside the game and working for the broadcasters like DAZN, Sky Sports, BBC 5 Live Radio and talkSPORT, you still don’t get the info.”
“You don’t get any inside information unless you’re in camp and you know the trainers or the promoters personally. It’s a frustrating time for heavyweight boxing. Frank Warren’s just announced Tyson Fury will fight Francis Ngannou, who is an MMA fighter, so it’s another crossover fight – load of rubbish. He’s on about, ‘the game’s changed, it’s going to change the whole sport’. Absolute load of s**t. I don’t like swearing, but it’s a load of s**t. We don’t want to see that fight. We want to see Tyson Fury in there with Usyk. The straight semi-final in Saudi Arabia that they’ve been talking about for a while where Anthony Joshua fights Deontay Wilder – it’s pointless, Fury fighting Wilder.”
“He’s fought him three times, a draw and two wins. Don’t get me wrong, I’d like to watch it again and it’s always a great fight but we need AJ in with Wilder and Usyk in with Fury. We’ve seen Usyk in with AJ twice and we know who the man is there, unfortunately for AJ he’s not good enough. The winner of that fight is in the final. The best fight there is Tyson Fury vs Usyk and if AJ can get through Wilder then we can see AJ vs Fury because that’s the fight we want to see even though AJ’s lost a couple of times. Everyone wants to see it, but most people that want to see it kind of already know the result or think they know the result.”
“They’re not giving Anthony Joshua a chance against Fury.”
“I think it’s fair because he had back-to-back defeats to Usyk and he’s looking like a man that’s fighting with no confidence. He doesn’t come forward anymore. He’s on his back foot, he’s defensive first and he gasses after 8-9 rounds. I don’t think he’s got the engine, so this fight with Dillian Whyte that’s coming up – if he can beat him in style and look good then people are going to start saying, hang on a minute, that was a good win. He’s already beat him, Dillian Whyte’s been knocked out by Alexander Povetkin and Tyson Fury so it’s not going to prove anything.”
“But it’s just going to show that he’s got him there and he believes in himself, he means business. If he can get the win in style that sets it up nicely. Whyte wobbled him early on and AJ dealt with him and got the job done. AJ fighting Whyte is better than him fighting someone like Jermaine Franklin in his last fight or whoever else gets pulled up to make him look good – it isn’t going to prove that he can go in against somebody like Deontay Wilder, Usyk in a rematch, or Tyson Fury.”
“It’s not going to prove anything. If I’m managing or training him, I’d like to see him step up, take it to that level. I think the Dillian Whyte fight, with no disrespect to him, is a nice bridge in the gap towards stepping up to that level again. He’s got to do it in style and I’m not sure he can.”
Q: If Tyson Fury retired tomorrow without fighting again, has he done enough to be in the Hall of Fame alongside yourself? Or does he need to fight Anthony Joshua?
CF: “There are different rules and ways it’s judged as to whether or not you go in the Hall of Fame. You can go in as a competitor and you can go in as a participant or for something else like you can be a promoter. Anthony Joshua for example, what he’s done for boxing, he’s brought it back to the forefront. He’s brought a whole new audience and he followed up from my 80,000 at Wembley Stadium. What he’s done for this sport is he’s transcended it and took it to the next level. So for that alone, what he’s done for our sport, you could say that’s a Hall of Fame career.”
“But if you’re talking about why I’ve been inducted it’s for fights I’ve taken and wins I’ve got on my record and world titles, back-to-back fights for world champions, and having a legacy in the sport. I fought Jean Pascal who was unbeaten, fought Jermaine Taylor, a former undisputed middleweight champ. Fought a guy who was unbeaten, nobody wanted to fight him, awkward southpaw from Canada, Lucian Bute, IBF champion. I fought him in the very next fight after losing to Andre Ward, dared to be great and ended up smashing his head in five rounds and won the IBF title. And then after winning that I rematched Mikkel Kessler and then took on somebody ten years younger than me, another undefeated fighter in George Groves, I struggled in the first fight.”
“Got dropped in round one, climbed off the canvas to win in a controversial stoppage, which I thought was a great stop because George Groves was gone and I was in front of him. So I knew he was gone. And then rematched him at Wembley in front of 80,000 fans. And now that’s a legacy, because that’s taking unbeaten fighters, that’s taking world champions, that’s beating fighters that went on to win world titles like Pascal. George Groves went on to win a world title. That’s what you call a career that’s worthy of the Hall of Fame. Does Tyson Fury deserve to be in the hall of fame? Good win against Wladimir Klitschko, he was still decent at that stage and he came back after a big lay off after being on the drink, he had mental health issues and he was taking other substances as well.”
“So he repaired himself, got himself mentally and physically well, and he had a great win against Klitschko. And then he had a trilogy with Deontay Wilder. Does that put him in the Hall of Fame, in my opinion? No. It’s not enough. If he beats AJ and Usyk then yeah, because he’s dominated the division then for years and he’s the best of the best. So at the minute, if he retired straight away, he might slip in. Does he deserve to be in? I don’t think so. He’s a fantastic fighter that would have dominated in my opinion, in any era.”
“There’s not many fighters you can take back to the 80s and 90s against the likes of Riddick Bowes, Holyfield, Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis and stop them. I wouldn’t put Anthony Joshua in there. And that’s not just giving Joshua stick for the sake of it. I just don’t think he belongs in that group of fighters. Tyson Fury does because he’s big enough, he’s 6ft 9in and 19 stone. He moves like a lightweight, he can punch and take a shot. He should be in the Hall of Fame but he needs a couple of more wins.”
Q: Well, look at Mayweather still raking it in, but he must be gambling a fair amount?
CF: “Is he [Mayweather] raking it in? Where is his money going? Why is he still fighting in front of empty arenas? Evander Holyfield blew $600 million. Mike Tyson blew more. Now, if you can blow that much money – whatever McGregor’s got, if he’s blowing it and spending it and buying Lamborghini boats and being frivolous with it by gambling, I hope he isn’t. He’s earned his money the hardest way. He’s got his whiskey brand too but everyone says that whiskey tastes like s**t by the way.”