Carl Froch has delivered a backhanded compliment to George Groves, who announced his retirement at the age of 30 this week.
Writing in a column for Sky Sports, the former WBC, WBA and IBF super middleweight champion said he wouldn’t miss his former foe who he defeated in back-to-back fights before retiring in 2014 with a record of 33-2 (24).
“Will I miss him? Probably not,” said Froch. “But I can’t deny that Groves made a massive, positive impact on the end of my career. Between us we filled Wembley and raised the bar for the next generation, led by Anthony Joshua of course, to box there, regularly.
“Groves certainly played his part in all that. A big part. He will be remembered for all those mind games and smart words he came out with, but I have to be honest, I never found him funny or clever.”
Froch and Groves had a heated rivalry that led to a pair of classic battles in 2013/14. Froch won both those bouts by TKO.
“What I will say about him though is well done for becoming a world champion,” continued Froch. “Even if I was not his biggest fan, I was glad to stand up applauded his win over Fedor Chudinov at Bramall Lane.”
Hammersmith’s Groves claimed the vacant WBA super middleweight championship against Fedor Chudinov in May 2017 with a TKO6 victory in Sheffield. In his last bout he was knocked out in seven rounds by undefeated Callum Smith last September.
Froch couldn’t resist one last dig at his old rival.
“But I won’t miss him and I am not sure that British boxing will miss him, these days at least. There was nothing left out there for him,” he said.
“He lost to Callum Smith, who is now top of the super-middleweight world and it wasn’t like it was a close or controversial defeat, he was conclusively beaten and there was never going to be a rematch.
“Groves helped me finish my own career in the best way possible, so now it’s his turn to call it a day. Fair play to him.”