Carl Froch accused domestic rival George Groves of preparing to “run for his life” at their final head-to-head press conference ahead of Saturday night’s world super-middleweight title fight in Manchester.
The pair flung a succession of bad-tempered insults with Froch vowing to make Groves pay for his perceived lack of respect by “annihilating” his unbeaten opponent when he puts his WBA and IBF titles on the line.
Froch mocked Groves’ detailed declaration of how he intended to take the Nottingham man’s title, insisting: “What you’ve been saying for 10 weeks is pathetic. You’ve embarrassed yourself and on Saturday night I’m going to put it right.”
Froch is adamant he is in for a long overdue easy night against Groves after a series of punishing title challenges and defences, including his thrilling win over Mikkel Kessler in his last fight in London in May.
Froch added: “When you have mixed with the quality of opponents I have been in with for so long you do not get scared by an opponent like George Groves.
“My experience at the top level, my punching power and George’s lack of ability to take a punch is going to be the reason why he’s going to come to the ring and run for his life and he’s not going to stand and fight.”
Groves had surprised Froch at the start of the press conference by revealing an elaborate so-called game-plan, involving meeting the champion in the centre of the ring and landing two right hands before going on to dominate the fight.
Froch watched on bemused as Groves insisted: “I’m going to come out in the centre of the ring and meet you in the first round with the jab then hit you with two right hands just to let you know I’m there.
“In the second round I’m going to do the same – I’m going to win the jab exchanges and hit him with more right hands. In the third round I’m going to come out and push him onto the back foot – then you’re going to have to wait and see what’s coming next.”
Despite the general consensus that Groves has little chance of claiming Froch’s title it is worth remembering he enters the fight with a 19-fight unbeaten record including his best win in another grudge match against James DeGale in May 2011.
The 25-year-old also heads into the fight on a run of three consecutive knockout wins, including a fifth-round stoppage of Noe Gonzalez Alcoba in his last outing in May.
Groves insisted: “I’ve never been knocked out but Carl says I’m chinny. Carl says he’s got one-punch knockout power but he doesn’t really knock out too many people – he’s contradicted himself so often it’s hard to follow.
“Carl is fighting against himself psychologically and he is losing. I’m sitting here answering his questions and he’s falling apart. He’s happy to rant and rave and call me disrespectful but when I pull him on it he doesn’t want to get into a debate.”