Boxing: Carl Froch to use 'fake Joe Calzaghe' taunt to beat Yusuf Mack

 

Carl Froch will use Yusuf Mack's barb about him being a fake Joe Calzaghe to motivate him ahead of their IBF super middleweight bout on Saturday night.

Nottingham puncher Froch has succeeded Calzaghe as Great Britain's most dominant fighter and comparisons between the two are easy as they hail from the same division.

Career timings meant they never met in the ring - something Froch wanted to happen - but he has achieved enough since to ensure he does not need the Welshman's name on his resume.

His brilliant five-round win over Lucian Bute in May allowed him to become world champion for the third time and he kicks off his defence against American Mack in Nottingham on Saturday.

The fight is widely expected to provide Froch with a comfortable win ahead of stiffer tests in 2013, but 32-year-old Mack has done his best to ruffle feathers of the self-styled 'Cobra' by classing him as a second-rate Calzaghe.

He made the comments on a television show Froch was not present at, just days after saying nothing when the pair met in person, and the 35-year-old has been angered by what he considers a show of disrespect.

"I'm glad that he and his trainer have had a bit to say and I am glad he's started talking a good game," Froch said at a head-to-head meeting between the pair today.

"He had little to say three or four weeks ago and he's had little to say today. He said a few things about Calzaghe a few weeks ago, but come Saturday night he's going to be in a whole world of trouble. He's in my territory and he's going to feel some serious wrath.

"Those comments were something I had to listen to. He had an opportunity to say it to my face, not go 200 miles down the road and say it behind my back."

While Calzaghe had the distinction of being able to retire without a loss to his name, Froch has two defeats alongside his, against Mikkel Kessler and Andre Ward.

There is little shame to losing to either of those and it is widely regarded that Froch is in a league of his own when it comes to British fighters who are prepared to consistently take on the world's elite.

His participation in the Super Six series saw him encounter the likes of Kessler, Ward, Glen Johnson and Jermain Taylor, with his loss to Ward coming in the final in Atlantic City last December.

Bute was no easy pickings either. He arrived in Nottingham in May as an undefeated world champion and was sent back to Canada concussed after one of the most devastating displays of hitting home fans have seen for some time.

Mack is not regarded in the same class as Bute and Froch's trainer, Rob McCracken, has eluded to the fact this bout could lend itself as a warm-up for meetings with Kessler and Ward, as well as a contracted rematch with Bute.

"I know I have to do the business against Mack, I have to take it a fight at a time like I always do," Froch added.

"It's great to be back in Nottingham, fighting in front of my home crowd. It will be difficult to top the night against Bute, it was phenomenal and the performance backed up the intensity of the crowd.

"The whole occasion was epic. A lot of people had me as the underdog then and nobody expected it, so it's going to be difficult to eclipse that, but I am here to entertain, I feel like a superstar and I will do the business."

Mack lists four losses and two draws among his 37 fights and if as expected he is beaten on Saturday, promoter Eddie Hearn is set to plot Froch's future overseas.

The Bute rematch is penned in for Montreal, while any second showdown with Ward would more than likely be in the States and, with that in mind, Hearn is telling the British public to make the most of his man while they have him.

"This could be one of the last times to see Carl in the UK, potentially ever," the Matchroom boss said.

"Carl has unfinished business elsewhere and we're willing to go there, be live in the big American networks and make it happen. They are the kind of fights he needs, but he can't look past Yusuf Mack."

PA

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