Photos: Lawrence Lustig
IBF/WBA super middleweight champion Carl Froch told a civic reception in his hometown of Nottingham that he still dreams of a big show at Nottingham Forest’s City Ground. The Cobra was honoured with a second civic reception following his epic rematch win over Mikkel Kessler at the O2 Arena in London on May 25, and when he addressed his loyal hometown fans who braved the pouring rain to pay homage to their hero, he told them he hoped the curtain has not been drawn on his fighting days in Nottingham after he destroyed Lucian Bute at the Capital FM Arena in May then brushed Yusaf Mack aside in clinical fashion in November at the same venue.
Froch moved to the capital for the clash with Kessler, a fight that sold-out in three hours and delivered an exhilarating night of action, and with a return to the ring likely to come in the winter, the 35 year old did not rule out boxing in Nottingham again. “I would love the decider against Mikkel to be held at the City Ground,” said Froch. “That would be an incredible occasion but I’ll be back again before Christmas and who knows, it could be at the Arena again.”
Froch has boxed at the Arena 15 times in his glittering 33 fight career, and he told fans and local dignitaries at the reception that he was humbled by their continued support.
“It’s an honour and humbling to be given another civic reception here,” said Froch. “The people and the city as a whole has backed me from day one and it means a lot, I love this city very much and I think that the feeling is mutual. Even though I beat Mikkel in London, I know that so many of the fans that were in the Arena for those big nights with Jean Pascal, Andre Dirrell and Bute, and even as far back as Robin Reid, Tony Dodson and Brian Magee, they were all in the O2 or watching at home and roaring me on.”
With revenge over Kessler in the bag, Froch is now focused on his next move. Completing the trilogy is high on his wish list, as is a rematch with Andre Ward and possible clashes with up-and-coming Brit rivals George Groves and James DeGale.
“I’m 36 in July but I feel fresher than ever,” said Froch. “The desire is still there and I am still loving the training. I put myself through 12 weeks of hell before a fight but I love it and I want to keep going for as long as I can. People are calling me out and that’s fine. Maybe they see a big pay day, or maybe they think they’ve seen a weakness, who knows? All I can say is that I feel like I’ve got a new lease of life, I’m smashing my own records in training and I feel fantastic. I’ll sit down with Eddie Hearn and we’ll plot the next moves but I’m very excited about the future and I can sense some huge nights on the horizon.”