• Boxing

Froch record 'eclipses' best of British

ESPN staff
May 29, 2012 « Yorkshire drop Adil Rashid | Chartbeat test »

Carl Froch says his record has now "eclipsed" those of former British world champions Joe Calzaghe, Chris Eubank and Nigel Benn, and has his sights set on a rematch with Mikkel Kessler.

Froch became a three-time world champion on Saturday with a stunning fifth-round stoppage of IBF champion Lucian Bute to join the storied list of British super-middleweights - and in his eyes, the 34-year-old has now surpassed them all.

"If you're asking me how I compare, I've eclipsed them, gone past them, it's as simple as that," Froch told BBC Sport. "I've had eight big fights on the spin, all for world titles. You've got to put me up there with the others, at least."

Benn, Eubank and Irishman Steve Collins produced some of the finest British boxing performances of the 1990s, a golden era for the 168lbs division brought to an end when Calzaghe beat Eubank in 1997. The Welshman went unbeaten in 46 fights before retiring in 2009.

And while Froch does not dispute the abilities of his fellow Britons, he believes his record of 29 wins, two defeats and three title victories is superior to the achievements of his predecessors.

"I'm a massive Chris Eubank fan, but if you're going to compare to the level of opposition I've been up against, it doesn't really come close," Froch said, before downplaying the comparison between his victory against Bute and Calzaghe's underdog victory against Jeff Lacy, which he believes was typical of the match-ups that allowed the Welshman to retire undefeated.

"Not taking anything away from Joe Calzaghe, but Jeff Lacy was massively overrated - Jermain Taylor used Jeff Lacy for a warm-up fight before fighting me [in 2009] and Taylor didn't see the final bell in my fight," added Froch.

"Jeff Lacy couldn't cut it at world level and Joe Calzaghe exposed him for what he was. But Lucian Bute is a great fighter, was unbeaten in 30 fights with 24 knockouts.

"When people look back on my career, I want them to say: 'There's a fighter that fought everybody. Look at his record - yes, he got beat, but he came back to win a third world title. Carl Froch is a Hall-of-Famer, a legend, and we've got so much respect for him'.

"I'll go down in the history books and I'll be remembered forever and ever, unlike other fighters - and I'm not going to mention any names - who have got undefeated records or retire undefeated, and you say to yourself: 'Who did he box? He didn't box him, he swerved him, he boxed him when he was well past his best'.

"The '0' doesn't mean a great deal. In one fight I've gone from being the underdog, finished, on the verge of retirement to the cream of the crop, the main man. But I already knew it."

Meanwhile, Froch confirmed his team set to enter discussions with Mikkel Kessler about a rematch later this year. The Dane outpointed Froch in 2010 to inflict the Nottingham native's first professional defeat.

"Mikkel Kessler, that's a fight I want to avenge. Me and Kessler could really go at it and give the fans what they want.

"He phoned me on Sunday to congratulate me, I mentioned fighting him and he said 'yes'. He knows it's a big fight, it's going to be financially beneficial and if he won it would put him right up there with the all-time greats."

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