Froch has not forgotten what his British super-middleweight rival said about him in recent years
Carl Froch has given props to James DeGale – but insisted he would have “smashed him to bits” – following the former world champion’s retirement on Thursday.
Five days after his defeat to Chris Eubank Jr, the 34-year-old posted a statement revealing that he was quitting the sport having spent exactly ten years of his life as a professional.
Froch himself retired from boxing in 2015 and had plenty to say about the domestic super-middleweight rival he never faced in the ring.
The 41-year-old began speaking positively about James DeGale as he told Jim White on talkSPORT: “He was a great fighter and he was an IBF champion. He won the world title.
“He made history, he was the first guy to ever do that – win a gold medal and then go on to win a world title.
“So you’ve gotta have massive respect for him, but we’re talking about the top level of the elite – was he the best of the best? He wasn’t.
“He was mixing it with the best, but he got found wanting right at the top.
“If we’d have met in my career, I’d have been too strong for him, I’d have backed him up onto the ropes, he’d have sat there with his guard up and I’d have absolutely smashed him to bits.”
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Not long before Carl Froch officially decided to leave boxing in 2015, he vacated his IBF super-middleweight world title.
Froch had recently fought George Groves twice and was looking for one last Las Vegas bout against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr that never materialised.
While these negotiations were ongoing, he dropped the belt rather than be forced to face his mandatory challenger at the time – James DeGale.
This drew an angry response out of DeGale, which Froch remembers well.
“He said a few things about how I retired rather than fight him and he was all wrong for me and he would beat me. This is what he was suggesting.
“I mean he lost to George Groves, I knocked George Groves out twice.
“Chris Eubank Jr [who beat DeGale] lost to Groves, so on paper, you know, James DeGale don’t really belong in the same ring as me, let’s be honest.
“But yeah, he had a few things to say. He sucked his teeth at me and tried to have a little bit of a go at me at the Badou Jack [fight] after the weigh in.
“But I straightened him out, I let him realise who he was arguing with and he actually don’t wanna roll around on the cobbles with me, let me tell you.
“I told him to concentrate on Badou Jack because he can fight, as he found out the next day because he got his teeth knocked out.”