Sunday, 19 August 2012

An Evening With Carl Froch At The Approach Nottingham REVIEW

Photo © Nottingham Confidential
Following his tremendous and spectacular triumph in May over Lucian Bute at Nottingham's Capital FM Arena crowning him IBF Super Middleweight Champion Of The World for a mind-blowingly astonishing third time, local hero and Nottingham's hardest guy and favourite son, the one and only boxing legend Carl Froch spent a Thursday evening with his fans in Nottingham this week, talking about his life, his fighting career and announcing his exciting plans for what else is in store very soon for Team Froch.

The Approach on Friar Lane in Nottingham is now renowned for holding their 'An Evening With...' nights with well known sporting stars, hosted by Darren Fletcher from 5 Live, and it really is the perfect venue for these type of events, with an open, comfortable and laid back setting and friendly atmosphere where you can book a ticket to watch the interview, or pay more and sit and have your dinner while you watch too, if you want. The audience for the evening comprised, not surprisingly, of approximately 97% Nottingham bloke, and with beer and boxing mixed into the equation, it was a big, bellowing, bustin'-all-over with-local-pride roaring reception for Carl Froch from his deserved loyal and fervent fanbase as he came on stage bringing his IBF world champion belt with him, smiling and admitting "I'm really humbled that everyone's come tonight."

Dressed in open neck white shirt, jeans and suit jacket, Carl Froch looked every inch the lean, mean, fighting machine, whilst also coming across relaxed, engaging and entertaining in his stories of his fighting life. From reminiscing about joining the Phoenix Amateur Boxing Club in Gedling at ten years old, "I'll never forget that stale smell, it was a hot, humid place, hot and sweaty" to the realisation of the emergence of his talent and ability. "I boxed from the age of 10 to 15 and then we moved to Newark and my interest in boxing slipped away, but I got back into it at 18 or 19 and even though I went back to it just to get fit, I found I could still punch very hard and found it quite easy to fight everyone at the gym. I started to realise, this is easy for me and I found myself ranked Number 2 in the country as an amateur and I was only really playing at it and when I saw my ranking I thought, if I take this seriously, I could maybe do something."

Photo © Nottingham Confidential
Turning pro in 2002 with training from Rob McCracken, he moved down to London and admits "There's no glitz and glamour early on in the professional career, I lived in Hackney and Clapton in North London and the road at the top of our street was called The Murder Mile, people at the top of the street got murdered on a regular basis, it was run by lots of local drug dealers and gangsters, stealing and causing all sorts of chaos. I lived above the gym that I trained at, cooking my own food, it was what I needed to keep me disciplined, there was nothing else to do but get up, go for a six mile run then hang about for a few hours, get some rest then get back in the gym. So for the first four or five years of my career I was stuck away from my home, away from my family and friends and I was pretty much secluded, leading a little bit of a monk lifestyle but I took to it, I enjoyed it because boxing was my life.

"I come from working class, my dad didn't go to school, he went to borstal and then he went to prison, my mum worked really hard and brought us up single-handedly from the age of ten or eleven. I worked at different jobs and the longest job I stuck out was at NTL, it was Diamond Cable, now it's Virgin, at Daleside Road in Colwick. I was there three years, stuck in front of a computer, answering the phone, looking at my watch every ten minutes, counting the time down to when I could go home, so for about three and a half years I was wishing my life away, I was still boxing but part time amateur, so I know what it's like to be in a mundane job, and not enjoy what you're doing. So when I started boxing, there was a chance for me to make something of myself and to achieve something for myself. But I was winning my fights quite easily and it was a natural progression for me and my career went from strength to strength and I enjoyed it and I still enjoy it ten years later. And when I got the chance to fight for the World Championship in Nottingham at the (then) Trent FM Arena and win a World Title in your home town of Nottingham, with the whole crowd screaming for you, you can't really beat that."

Candid about the tough realities of training and discipline he says, "I'm an athlete and I have to watch what I do and watch what I eat" and, famously partner to the beautiful glamour model Rachel Cordingley, there are other more, ahem, personal sacrifices to be made. "Yes, I live downstairs in a room in my house when I'm training for a fight. You've got to keep your eyes on the prize! You've got to be focused, you're at the level of a stud racehorse. It's how Rocky said, 'women weaken legs'! And it's all part of the training. And to be honest, when I'm training in the morning, doing six mile runs and then in the gym sparring in the afternoon, and I'm getting hit with shots and I'm feeling a bit wobbly and then I'm back in the gym later doing conditioning, the last thing I want to do when I go home is you know what! I want to go to sleep. It's not that hard."

Photo © Nottingham Confidential
So the big question is, of course, when is Carl Froch going to fight next? "I'm 35 now, the plan is to carry on for another 18 months to 2 years or to have three fights. And November 17th looks like it'll be the date of my next fight and it will be a massive fight, hopefully in Nottingham, which will be phenomenal again and we'll be making an announcement about that next week. It's going to be a hard fight, if you look at the resume that I've been fighting, and it could potentially be my last fight in Nottingham. The rematch with Bute if it happens looks like it's going to be in Montreal in Canada, and then another fight in America and so potentially I'm looking at that three fight plan before I hang the gloves up."

And so with that big fight announcement planned live on Sky television tomorrow, Monday August 20, Nottingham and boxing fans everywhere had better get ready because Carl Froch The Cobra is going to sock it to them big time.

You can check out more photos from the event on our Nottingham Confidential Facebook page here

You can find out more about The Approach on their website

1 comment:

  1. This is an amazing blog. Thank you for your dedication posting your adventure and sharing your wonderful trip. I look forward

    to coming back and reading more. I kind of feel you may already be planning your next adventure which I don't want to miss.
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