Boxing and Gambling – Carl Froch Admission Raises Questions

Carl Froch, the former two time Super Middleweight champion has made this week even worse for British boxing after Dereck Chisroa and David Haye helped sink the brand to a new low by admitting he has dragged fights to later rounds so his family and friends, betting on his fights, could make some extra money.

Froch himself does not think this is a problem. He doesn’t throw fights, he knows he can win them earlier, but chooses not to ‘step on it’ until he knows it’s a late enough round. He doesn’t swing results, but he does, or did, at least in several fights according to him, have his boxing affected by gambling, even if it doesn’t have anything to do with him.

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The 34 year old British fighter, who lost to Andre Ward in the Super Six final in December after a lopsided unanimous decision , is currently in some sort of negotiations with Lucian Bute, the Canadian-Romanian IBF champion, still undefeated after 30 fights. According to the rumor mill, Andre Ward doesn’t want a unification fight with Bute just yet, so he turned to Froch.

The offer on the table is a two fight deal, one in Montreal and another one in the UK, preferably Nottingham, Carl Froch’s hometown. In the interview to the BBC, Froch spoke about his friends and family’s gambling, and how it specifically affected his fight with South African Ruben Groenewald in 2005.

I’ve done it more than one occasion and it was round five but that’s not illegal. I can say, ‘right, I’ll stop this kid in round five’. If I’m good enough to do that then fair enough. I don’t gamble but my brothers and my friends, they did quite well off it. 

I can openly say that, because if I’m good enough to step on the gas in round five and force the stoppage then that’s my privilege, and that’s what I did in this particular fight at the arena for the Commonwealth title defence. But the problem with that is I held him up in round four. He was there for the taking and I held him up, I got him with a shot, I could have ended up getting done myself in round four.

Is Froch worth punishing for this? I don’t think anyone’s naive enough to believe boxing, at all levels, is a free-of-gambling sport, but admitting to this and actually talking like it’s completely alright sounds rather, well, stupid to me. With Chisora up for a life time ban (which he shouldn’t be getting) by the British boxing council, Froch receiving some sort of punishment might be up next.