The Cobra: My Story, by Carl Froch
Sunday 01 May 2011
There's something about British boxing's 12-stone men that makes them feel unloved.
Joe Calzaghe spent much of his career bemoaning the fact that he didn't receive the recognition he felt was due, and Carl "The Cobra" Froch, the current WBC super-middleweight champion, sings from the same scoresheet, though he does acknowledge that his punch-perfect performance against the tough-as-nails Armenian Arthur Abraham to regain the title last November at 33 raised his profile.
He's still far from a household name, though, except perhaps in his home town of Nottingham, where he was raised on a tough estate with a father who was in and out of jail.
Froch started boxing at nine and showed much promise before drifting away from the sport as a teenager. He returned to become the first English boxer to win a senior amateur World Championship medal, a bronze, before turning professional in 2002. He tells his story in artless and undemonstrative fashion, with no sensational revelations, and perhaps this down-to-earth nature is one reason he has not received more publicity; he is not one for hangers-on or bling, and tends to celebrate his victories by doing a spot of decorating at one of the buy-to-let properties he owns.
A more attentive ghostwriter or editor would have saved him from some repetitive passages and solecisms: when he writes, for instance, that a certain boxer "could punch like a mule" you know what he means, but he hasn't quite said it. And he is naïve when he writes: "Why there cannot just be a single statutory body running [world] boxing, I don't know."
The answer is money, Carl; the more bodies there are, the more "world-title fights" they can hype. Nevertheless, as an honest account of high achievement this punches its weight well enough.
Published in hardbackby Ebury, £18.99
musicReview: Culture Club performs live for first time in 12 years
Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search
ReviewThese heroes in a half shell should have been left in hibernation
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery reports: 'I'm living a more fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
- 2 Salisbury ranked seventh-best city in the world to visit in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015
- 3 Disney announces new female-led film Moana
- 4 Banksy not arrested: Internet duped by fake report claiming artist's identity revealed
- 5 Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
Disney announces new female-led film Moana
Eight seconds of white noise is top of the Canadian iTunes chart because people love Taylor Swift that much
Fury, film review: Brad Pitt is intriguing as unsympathetic war hero
American Horror Story season 4, Fox - TV review: Sensitive, silly and sensational
Is Poppy Pym the new Harry Potter? Children's bookseller wins Independent's new author search
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
Jose Manuel Barroso warns David Cameron against making 'historic mistake' over immigration reforms