Boxers insist hteir rivalry is real, not merely selling the fight.
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The bickering undoubtedly helps promote their fight and the sale of pay-per-view television, but Carl Froch insists his animosity for George Groves is fiercely genuine.
The rival British super-middleweights contest Froch’s International Boxing Federation (IBF) and regular World Boxing Association (WBA) titles in Manchester on Saturday, but the unified champion does not expect to make peace with Groves afterwards.
Londoner Groves, 25, initially angered Froch when he sparred with Mikkel Kessler before the Dane fought the Nottingham boxer in May.
Since beating Kessler, Froch’s ego has been pricked by Groves’s teasing comments, which he believes are disrespectful.
“I’ve got a genuine dislike for George Groves and it’s not just to sell the fight, so why would I shake his hand after?” Froch told AFP at his training base in Sheffield.
“It’s not as extreme as David Haye and Dereck Chisora where a situation got out of control and you think bloody hell I shouldn’t have done that, let’s sort it out,” he added in a reference to the British heavyweights who, having brawled at a press conference, eventually settled their differences in the ring.
“But with Groves he’s just one of those people where I don’t want to have anything to do with him. I’ll fight him and I’ll never hear from him ever again.
“I don’t think much of him. I don’t think he’s very polite. I think he’s immature, childish, ignorant, arrogant and downright rude sometimes, and you don’t need to be like that.”
Froch is Britain’s leading boxer, particularly with former world heavyweight and cruiserweight champion David Haye being advised to retire following a shoulder injury.
At 36, Froch has no plans to move into retirement and claims his motivation and stamina have never been better.
“I’m still boxing because I still want to do it,” Froch said. “I’ve still got the desire. My trainer Rob McCracken still keeps me motivated.
“I’m not money motivated because I’m in a very fortunate position financially and I’ve invested my money wisely and I’ve got interests outside of boxing which bring in a very healthy monthly yield.
“I’m fitter now than I was six or seven years ago. The runs I’m doing now, I’m hitting better times and my breathing is better.”
Froch added: “I’m a late developer and I feel at 36 as good as I was when I was 28, 29. I’m sure there will be a stage when I will start to go over the hill in decline but at the minute I’m honestly not feeling it.
“Everything is monitored and everything is better for this fight, and I know that physically heart and lungs wise I feel as good as ever, so I keep going.”
In his last fight Froch out-pointed Kessler, avenging a defeat three years ago, and he now says he wants another rematch, with American Andre Ward, who is regarded as the super-middleweight division’s top boxer.
“The Ward rematch for me is the one that makes sense because Ward is the only guy on my record who I’ve not beaten,” said Froch, who has lost twice on points in 33 fights.
Groves, who is unbeaten in 19 bouts, recently split from his long-term trainer Adam Booth, who also worked with Haye.
Groves will instead have the inexperienced Paddy Fitzpatrick in his corner on Saturday after revealing he’d lost lost trust in Booth.
“It’s nice having someone in your corner who you trust and respect but sometimes you don’t have that and when you don’t, it’s time to move on,” Groves told Sky Sports.