It is fair to say partypoker Ambassador Carl Froch knows a thing or two about boxing. The four-time super-middleweight champion enjoyed a career spanning 35 professional fights, winning 33 of those, and 24 victories coming via a knockout. Froch is regarded as one of the United Kingdom’s greatest fighters, pound for pound.
With the New year now in full swing, and with some exciting fights on the horizon, the partypoker blog sat down with Froch and picked his brains about the upcoming boxing season, in addition to his poker plans and ambitions for 2022.
Two upcoming fights stand out from the crowd for different reasons. Josh Taylor takes on Jack Catterall while veterans Amir Khan squares off against Kell Brook. How does Froch see those fights going?
“Josh Taylor should win this fight comfortably. Taylor is a class act and proven at the highest level of championship boxing. Jack Catterall is confident and he deserves respect with his unbeaten professional record but there are no stand out names on his resume. In my opinion, he will be well beaten inside the distance.”
Khan and Brook are well past their best!
What about Khan versus Brook?
“Khan and Brook are both well past their best, so that’s why even though this fight is happening five years too late, it should still be a competitive fight. I can see how either fighter could win. Khan keeping it at distance and trying to beat Brook on points. But Brook using his natural talent and timing Khan’s attacks, walking him on to heavy punches, knocking him spark out.”
Boxing fans were hoping to see Tyson Fury take on Anthony Joshua but that is not happening after Joshua lost his belts to Oleksandr Usyk, and Fury was told he must fight Dillian Whyte. Many think a Fury victory over Whyte is a formality, but Froch is not so sure.
“Dillian Whyte is a handful for any of the top heavyweights. Tyson Fury would have to be in top shape to keep Whyte out of harm’s way for 12 rounds. This could be a surprisingly close fight.”
Joshua is void of confidence
The only likely way Fury and Joshua will step into the ring is for them both to win their respective matches. However, Froch does not see Joshua beating Usyk in this year’s rematch.
“I think AJ has lost his confidence. I can’t see him winning an immediate rematch with Usyk. He needs to rebuild under his new trainer. But he can’t really knock back the opportunity of the rematch and the chance of regaining all of the belts. With the exception of Fury’s WBC of course. If the fight happens AJ’s only chance is to go for the knockout from round 1!!”
“At the moment, I can’t make a case for AJ beating Fury. AJ’s defeats to Ruis & Usyk have exposed weaknesses that Tyson Fury will easily exploit.”
Sights set on KO Series glory
Away from boxing, Froch is looking forward to playing plenty of poker in 2022, starting with the Grand Prix UK event at Dusk Till Dawn and the KO Series online at partypoker. What are Froch’s poker goals for 2022?
“To become a Champion of course! I mean, it would be amazing to win a tournament in one of the major series. But over the last couple of years and 2021 in particular I feel my game has really improved. I’ve had a couple of nice results especially in the knockout format tournaments and will be looking to build on those in the upcoming KO Series.
“However, most of all in 2022 I’m really hoping we can get back to playing some live poker. I’m heading down to Dusk till Dawn this week for the first partypoker LIVE event since before the pandemic, the Grand Prix UK. While this is only a small event with caps on entries, I’m really hoping for a big festival back at Dusk till Dawn soon. It will be great to see the room buzzing again after such a long time.”
“I’m also hoping to get back on the road for a partypoker LIVE event abroad as well…somewhere hot and sunny would be nice! So, watch this space for announcements on some more live events hopefully coming soon.”
Keeping with the KO Series, surely winning something from series of tournaments with a boxing theme has Froch’s name all over it, especially the Main Event.
“Yeah as mentioned I enjoy the knockout format events as they give you a chance to take some money home even if you don’t make it to the later stages of the tournament. Another thing I like about this KO Series is the majority of the tournaments are one-day events, so you don’t need multiple days to get involved.”
“As always I’ll be looking forward to the Main Event so you will see me in that, but I would also recommend trying the low stakes turbo events for someone who’s fairly new to poker and doesn’t have loads of time on their hands.”
Eubank couldn’t even beat Groves!
We could not let Froch get back to his daily routine without asking about the recent signing of Chris Eubank Jr by 888poker; 888 recently signed Eubank Jr as an ambassador. Would Froch beat Eubank Jr in the ring? What about at the poker tables?
“Eubank isn’t big enough for me, that was evident when he lost to George Groves, a man who I rendered unconscious in front of 80 thousand fans at Wembley Stadium! Although make no mistake, Eubank Jr is one hell of a fighter at Middleweight & I expect him to win a world title this year.”
“A heads up poker match between us would be brilliant. We are both very tough mentally, neither of us would want to fold so there would definitely be some luck involved for the eventual winner. Although, I think my experience in tournaments over my last 5-6 years as a partypoker Ambassador would make me a strong favourite.”
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