AS VEGAS — Retired former super middleweight titleholder Carl Froch against unified middleweight titlist Gennady Golovkin? It would be something of a dream fight between exciting, fearless warriors who have always sought to fight the best.
Tom Loeffler of K2 Promotions, Golovkin’s promoter, and Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn, Froch’s longtime promoter, caused a stir on social media earlier this month about the prospect of the fight.
Hearn was in Monte Carlo promoting a Nov. 12 card and Loeffler, who has promoted past Golovkin events there, was also in town. They have a friendly relationship and in September put on Golovkin’s title defense against Kell Brook in London.
The night before Hearn’s Monte Carlo card he and Loeffler were out together and Loeffler posted a photo of them on social media, both with big smiles and Hearn with his necktie wrapped around his head. Yes, partying they were, but Loeffler included the comment, “With Eddie Hearn in Monte Carlo negotiating Golovkin vs. Froch at Wembley Stadium to break 80,000 record.”
In May 2014, Froch knocked out bitter rival George Groves in the eighth round to retain his super middleweight world title in their rematch in front of a British-record crowd of about 80,000 at London’s Wembley Stadium. Froch then retired, but like many retired fighters there is often the pull of an eventual ring return.
So what was this comment all about? Froch was coming out of retirement to fight Golovkin? Could it be? Well, it could be, but then again probably not.
Loeffler is attempting to finalize a fight for early next year between Golovkin (36-0, 33 KOs), 34, and secondary titleholder (and mandatory challenger) Daniel Jacobs and also looking ahead to a possible mega fight in September between Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez. But a Froch fight would be huge and a welcome replacement if either fight doesn’t come to fruition.
Loeffler’s social media post sparked a back-and-forth between the usually reserved Golovkin and the more outspoken Froch.
Froch (33-2, 24 KOs), 39, responded to the photo by tweeting that Golovkin “needs to fight somebody credible very soon, but as you have been, stay away from 168.”
That garnered a Golovkin response: “Hey you! Carl Froch don’t judge who is credible or not. You are another clown who talks too much without stepping up to actually do things.”
Froch responded: “Never stepped up! And call me a clown. Come back when you’ve beat someone! You better hope I stay retired. #HypeJob”
Well, this is interesting, isn’t it?
But before you decide to save a few bucks (or quid) to go to the fight, let’s let Hearn explain just what that photo and comment was all about.
“I was in Monaco with Tom and we had a few mojitos and for some reason I had my tie around my head,” a laughing Hearn told ESPN during a wide-ranging interview in the MGM Grand’s media center for the Sergey Kovalev-Andre Ward light heavyweight title fight. “Tom and I had a few drinks and he took a picture of me and him and then drunk tweeted, ‘We’re here in Monaco negotiating.’”
OK, but is there anything real to it?
“They really want the fight,” Hearn said of the boxers.
In fact, Hearn said Froch texted him that night after seeing the photo and comment.
“Carl texted me. He said, ‘What’s the heaviest Golovkin would go to fight me,’” Hearn said. “So I was sitting with Tom and he said 170 pounds and Carl says what about 172?”
So it’s real right?
“But then I saw a piece on (British broadcaster) Sky where he said, ‘I’m retired,’” Hearn said.
Froch is retired, but Hearn said he is not 100 percent convinced he’s done for good.
“The thing with Carl is he’s a pure competitor,” Hearn said. “So when he watches GGG against Brook what he’s thinking is, ‘I can beat him, I know I can beat him’ and it will eat him up a little bit. But it’s going to take a lot for him to come out of retirement. He turned down a fortune to fight Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. just because he had a bit of a niggle in his elbow and he couldn’t really get himself up for it because after the Groves fight it was like, ‘I’ve given everything that night and it feels like the end to me.’ It’s remarkable to retire off that night. How many fighters retire off a night like that? Very few. But I know him. He’ll be in his garage on his punch bag thinking about Golovkin.
“He was probably feeling me out (about the weight). I think there’s a little curiosity from Carl. For me, Carl’s a very good friend of mine and what made Carl so good is his competitive instinct and his desire and his hunger. If you take that away he’s not the same fighter. So after two years out and all the money he’s made does he still have that? There is definitely a beast inside Carl Froch. We’ll see.”