McCracken: Froch camp has been fantastic - 06/12/2011
TRAINER says Froch is in great shape
Rob McCracken believes that Carl Froch’s training camp couldn’t have gone better ahead of his Super Middleweight unification showdown with Andre Ward on December 17 in Atlantic City.
Froch faces Ward live on Sky Sports in the final of the Super Six World Boxing Classic with Froch’s WBC and Ward’s WBA belts on the line. It is one of the biggest fights of the year and one of the most significant in the history of the division, and his trainer McCracken is convinced he is ready to go to work.
Dream Team: McCracken and Froch are plotting Super Middleweight domination
"Carl’s camp has been fantastic," said McCracken. "He’s just an exceptional worker and will carry out whatever you want from him every day. He never questions anything. He doesn’t have weight issues; he has the genetics to do that, and very few in the sport can say that.
"We’d worked ten weeks before the cut that forced the first date to be cancelled, but then took a three-week break. So we will have had nine more solid weeks of camp going in. That’s quite a bit of training, but the three weeks off refreshed him. A similar thing happened when he fought Arthur Abraham, and Carl came back sharper than ever.
"Ward pulled out because of a cut. That’s part of boxing, and Carl knows that. But this is a personal fight."
For Froch and McCracken, the Super Six final represents the biggest night of a fighter-trainer relationship that has passed a decade now, and McCracken has looked back on those early days as the pair approach the huge night in America.
"Carl trained with me nine months before his first pro fight and before that I watched him in the 2001 World Championships," said McCracken. "While Carl was becoming the first English boxer to win a medal at the World Championships, I could see the raw talent and that he had all the ingredients.
"Carl and Ward have pretty much proved themselves as the two best; well, Carl definitely has and Ward, who won an Olympic gold medal, is the other best super middleweight in the world alongside Carl.
"But Carl has done more in the division than Ward has."
Ward withdrew from the original October 29 date just a month before the show after getting cut in sparring. The Olympic gold medalists’ trainer Virgil Hunter does not believe the cut has affected his man though as they continued to work while his cut was healing.
"We’re real pleased with how it’s all going in camp," said Hunter. "We never actually left. We had a setback (after Ward was cut on September 22), but we never stopped. We just modified things when we couldn’t spar. We’ve been sparring for about three weeks.
"I haven’t seen any difference at all with Andre; there’s been no noticeable drop off for anything. He’s the same now as he was before the cut. He understands the nature of game."
McCracken and Hunter have both had their verdicts on the fight.
"The reality at this level of fight is intriguing because no one knows for sure how it will play out," said McCracken. "We’ll both have game plans and we’ll both try to come out and implement them. But there will be points in the fight where they’ll have to fight on instincts.
"Ward is unorthodox, very fast and very talented. He will only do one of two things. He’ll try to go in and out or try and bull himself inside.
"Carl has the longer reach and is physically stronger. He knows he has to be smartly aggressive. He’s proven himself time and again, against everybody’s he’s been in with. Carl will be ready for anything. He’ll adjust when necessary and do whatever it takes to win.
"But we're expecting a fantastic fight between two tremendous boxers."
Hunter said: "I don’t think that you could ask for a better conclusion. It’s going to be a great fight and I’m looking forward to it. Froch is a confident fighter who has passionate fans. He’s the type of fighter you want to fight. He says he’ll keep pushing the pedal to the metal and I think he’s a man of his word. I’d be very disappointed if he tucks it in, after what he’s been saying.
"We’ve worked hard to win this tournament and we intend to win the tournament. We’re now at the point where we have one more obstacle to overcome. It doesn’t matter if it’s a knockout or a decision. We want the KO if it comes, or a stoppage. Personally, I’d like to see him quit or his corner stop it."