Super middleweight titleholder Carl Froch has quashed any talk of retirement by insisting his hunger and love for boxing burns as deep as ever.
Some suggested in the wake of his eighth-round KO over fellow Englishman George Groves on Saturday at Wembley Stadium – and bumper £8mllion pay day – that the 36-year-old Nottingham star could be considering hanging up the gloves. Even the IBF holder revealed post-fight he would take the summer off before deciding anything concrete on his future.
But come Monday, having had 24 hours to reflect on an historic night for the sport in Britain that he described as the ‘best ’ of his illustrious career, Froch (33-2, 24 knockouts) appeared already to have resolved the question of whether to fight on – if it was ever genuinely up for debate.
“Physically I've got what it takes to get in there and fight at the elite level for longer – no doubt about it. I'm 37 in July but I feel fantastic,” Froch said in the Evening Standard. “I was stronger than George and he's 10 years younger – so there's no problem there. Mentally, I still enjoy it, too. I like putting my body through the training and I like the challenge and proving people wrong.
“George was tipped to beat me and I beat him – again – and in doing so I beat a young and fast kid for seven rounds and took him out in round eight. I've still got it.
“George is young and a quality, quality fighter. He can come back stronger and win a world title – that's all down to him and his character. For me, I'm going to have a great holiday and then think about my options. I'm not going to rush into anything; I'm going to let Saturday night sink in because the magnitude of the event and what I did on the biggest stage of British boxing history, it's going to take some time to get my head round.
“Everything was on the line for me, a lot of people thought George was going to win, and had he done that then maybe that would've been my lot. Now… well, I have more options than ever.”
Froch has always maintained that a blockbuster bout in Las Vegas is the final item remaining on his boxing bucket list. However, he now concedes a contest there could never match the sensation and thrill of performing – and winning – in front of 80,000 fans at the England football team’s national stadium.
“Las Vegas has the glitz and the glamour so that's a box to tick for me,” said the Cobra. “But it won't be bigger than Saturday. Nothing will be. I could bow out now and be happy with my fantastic career. But with everything I have achieved in boxing, I would still like to fight in Vegas, the fight capital of the world.
“There's some steam left in this old train, there are rematches out there, there are other belts, and there's fighting on the strip with the bright lights – but Saturday night will be the night I think of the most when I hang them up.”
Harry Pratt is on Twitter: @gharrypratt