By Sean Crose
For a man who isn’t at the top of his division, Carl Froch is most certainly a smashing success. The English fighter’s last bout – against George Groves in London – may have done close to the same number of pay per view buys that the Floyd Mayweather-Marcos Maidana bout did last May. Considering the Froch-Groves tussle was seen here in America on HBO, that’s really saying something.
While it’s true the super middleweight Froch isn’t nearly as good a boxer as divisional king Andre Ward is (Ward proved that fact in the ring, after all), Froch is still a hard hitting, brawling, always entertaining fan favorite. Bottom line – the guy’s been good for boxing. And, as he approaches 40, Froch wants to wrap his career up by fulfilling his dream of fighting in Las Vegas.
His potential opponent for an American foray, however, is the popular but unpredictable Julio Caesar Chavez Jr. Whether he’s troubled or just plain petulant, Chavez Jr has a well earned reputation for not being all that interested in living the life of a top performing fighter.
Whether he’s getting arrested, not bothering to make weight, not listening to his trainer’s advice, or having trouble with contract negotiations, Chavez Jr is always unreliable. And right now Froch seems to want a reliable opponent to face in the states.
That’s why, according to the BBC, Froch has declared he may actually decide to retire without fulfilling his Vegas dream if he feels the problematic Chavez Jr is wasting his time. “If I put my final fight of my career on hold for him,” Froch told the BBC, “it could be risky.”
Always outspoken, Froch made it clear that Chavez Jr is proceeded by his less than stellar reputation. “Sometimes he goes AWOL,” Froch claimed of Chavez Jr. “He’s a bit of a bad box in Mexico. There’s been question marks about his reliability.” Although not disrespectful, there was genuine truth to be found in Froch’s words.
Some of those who have followed Chavez Jr’s career may actually like what they’re hearing from the English brawler. For, like Bernard Hopkins did last week when he stunned the world by signing to fight Sergey Kovalev, Froch is making it clear that he doesn’t need one particular fighter’s signature on a contract to feel satisfied as a boxer.
Those who felt Hopkins absolutely needed to fight Adonis Stevenson were sadly mistaken, after all. And those who feel Froch may absolutely need to fight Chavez Jr. are sadly mistaken, as well. For, like Hopkins, Froch is a man whose legacy is secure.
“I’ve done all the fighting that I can do,” Froch claimed. “I’ve achieved all I wanted to achieve. Now it’s just about ticking a final box.” And that final box, of course, is fighting in Las Vegas. “To fight there like many of my heroes have before me would be phenomenal,” Froch said.
Froch also stated that he’d be willing to battle others in Vegas besides Chavez Jr. “There are a couple of other fights out there for me in America,” the European star noted. If nothing pans out, however, then Froch may well end up putting his American dream aside.
“If Vegas can’t happen, I’ll seriously consider retiring,” he stated bluntly.
As for Chavez Jr, well, he’ll probably just continue being Chavez Jr – a decent enough fighter who might actually avoid opportunities to fight real competitors because he feels his popularity affords him the right to. There’s just one thing the man should keep in mind, however – at some point the phone stops ringing. It always does. Even for someone named Chavez.