NEW YORK (Nov. 15, 2010) Ė Bitter rivals and European superstars Carl Froch and Arthur Abraham continued to throw verbal jabs at one another on Monday during an international media conference call less than two weeks before their Super Six World Boxing Classic clash for the vacant WBC Super Middleweight title on Saturday, Nov. 27, on SHOWTIMEģ (9 p.m. ET/PT) on same-day-delay from Hartwall Areena in Helsinki, Finland.
ďI never ever want to test my chin with anybody,Ē Froch said. ďThe best chin is the one that doesnít get hit. Iíve fought some very strong super middleweights and light heavyweights. Iím not concerned when people say that Arthurís the biggest puncher Iíve faced. I think his power is overrated, especially at super middleweight.Ē
Abraham (31-1, 25 KOs) vs. Froch (26-1, 20 KOs) has the potential to be a classic toe-to-toe brawl with both fighters hungry and coming off their first professional losses. Froch lost his world title to Mikkel Kessler, who withdrew from the World Boxing Classic Tournament with an eye injury, and has said that he feels like he will have to knock out Abraham to get his belt back..
In the second bout of the split-site doubleheader, unbeaten Andre Ward (22-0, 13 KOs) will defend his WBA 168-pound crown against Sakio Bika (28-4-2, 19 KOs) live from the Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif.
Here are what the principals had to say on Monday:
ďOf course we have tried to learn from the defeat (against Andre Dirrell). We have tried to change what we did in practice. The mistake I made against Dirrell was that I gave away the first couple of rounds. That wonít happen again and itís something weíre looking to change in the next fight.
ďI have to do more and take more risks than I did against Dirrell. I donít want to reveal too much now but I will just show you on Nov. 27.
ďOne thing I learned from my fight against Dirrell is that I have to be more aggressive from the early rounds because those are the rounds I lost.Ē
What are your advantages against Carl Froch?
ďThe advantages are inside my head and I donít want to speak to that right now. Iíll just show you.Ē
How has the delay in the fight affected you?
ďIím actually used to fighting every three or four months but my trainer is very professional and an expert so we knew how to alter the training so my body stays in shape and so I stay sharp. We just adjusted our training accordingly and I think itís actually an advantage for me. The more I train the better I get and the stronger I get. So itís no problem for me at all.
ďI agree he has a long jab. But it didnít help him against Mikkel Kessler because he lost the fight.
ďAfter the Super Six Tournament I expect to make even bigger fights in America. Then after a couple more fight then I will call it a career.Ē
ďIn my last fight I lost a very close decision although the judgesí scorecards didnít reflect that. It was a very close fight and it could have gone either way. It went against me but everyone knows that fight is one that you want to watch again and again. Itís the kind of fights that Iím usually involved in.
ďIíve been sparring a lot more for this fight. Iíve got like close to 200 rounds. As far as other aspects go, not a lot has changed since the defeat. Iím not going to do anything different based on that loss because quite frankly it was a very close fight and I should have won. I take a lot of confidence from my fight against Kessler. I sent Mikkel Kessler into retirement with that fight. And now Iím fighting to get my title back. As far as Iím concerned I defended my title against Kessler and Iím defending it again against Abraham. So nothingís changed. The training has stayed the same.
ďIím giving myself a week before the fight to get over to Finland and get settled in. Iím fully prepared, meticulously prepared to do the job I need to do on Nov. 27 to bring that green belt back to England. I have a massive, massive chance to win the Super Six Tournament so I just have to hold onto that and give it my all.Ē
Do you feel like youíre still an undefeated fighter?
ďI donít feel like that fight did enough to take away my confidence. I lost a very, very close fight. Eighty-five percent of the people thought I won the fight. And thatís not just Carl Froch fans. Thatís people in America and people in England and all the boxing people. I donít want to keep bringing it up but itís not like I was totally outclassed. Iím not trying to disrespect Arthur at all when I say this but if I was to have gotten beaten as bad he got beaten for 11 rounds (against Dirrell) then Iíd be worried. Iíd be mentally dejected. Not only did he get beaten and outclassed but he got beaten and outclassed by a guy that I previously beat. So thatís got to have him worried and cause him concern.Ē
Has fatherhood changed you?
ďOf course it has. You realize itís not all about you. Iím a very selfish person. Most boxers are. You have to be selfish. You have to say no to people; to friends and family. And you have to be disciplined and you become somewhat of a recluse, especially when youíre training. In terms of my boxing and what I want to achieve and I what I want to stand for it gives you a little sense of urgency. Because Iím not just doing it for myself but Iím doing it for my son (Rocco) instead. Heís too young to understand it now but someday whenís heís old enough he can look back on this fight and watch it on video and he can be proud of his old man. So of course I want to win not just for myself but for my son as well.
ďI donít think home-fight advantage matters. Everybodyís different. I produced a great performance away from home in a win against Jermain Taylor and I boxed brilliantly against Mikkel Kessler away from home. So whether or not Iím home or away, my performance is not affected. Being at home is nice because you can feed off the crowd and the energy and it makes you feel good and if you feel good then you perform better. Itís no problem for me being in Finland because itís the same for Arthur.
ďIím going to box and move and employ some different tactics for this fight. Plan A is to hit and not get hit back.Ē
KALLE SAUERLAND (Abrahamís promoter):
ďThese two are easily the biggest punchers and the biggest warriors in the tournament and I think many fans will agree with me on that. I think they are two of the heaviest-hitting fighters in all of boxing pound- for-pound. With both fighters coming off the first losses of their careers the scene is set for a great fight. Thereís a lot at stake. Arthur is in the best shape of his life and heís absolutely pumped up and ready to go.Ē
MICK HENNESSEY (Frochís promoter):
ďI said at the initial press conference in Helsinki that this fight has the potential to be the fight of the decade candidate. And I seriously believe that. This fight has all the ingredients to be very, very special. We have two of the fiercest warriors and two of the biggest punchers in all of boxing. We have two of the toughest and most exciting fighters. This is what everyone in the fight game has been looking forward to for a long time.Ē