Sport

Carl Froch in round fixing scandal Carl Froch in round fixing scandal

Joe Fenn looks at the repercussions of the Welshman’s statement

A terrible weekend for boxing has been perfectly topped off with Carl Froch, former two time WBC super middle weight champion of the world, facing an investigation by the British Boxing Board after he revealed that he deliberately prolonged a 2005 Commonwealth Games fight to benefit friends and relatives who had bet on the match.

In an interview on BBC radio, Froch claimed that he could have ended the 2005 title defence fight against Ruben Groenewald earlier, but instead held on to the 5th round for the sake of his brother and his friends.  Although this borders on being illegal in the boxing world, Froch seemed to find nothing wrong in what he did. He openly and innocently explained that he had ‘done it before,’ and said that if he was a good enough fighter to choose when he knocked the challenger down, then that was ‘fair enough.’

Froch had made similar claims in his autobiography, which was released last year, but it was only after the radio interview that the British Boxing Board took notice. Now the fighter will face an investigation to determine whether or not what he did was illegal, and if it is deemed to be so, Froch could face a suspension of his boxing licence.

However, Froch claims what he did was not match-fixing. Holding up an opponent, as it is known, is a different matter than a fighter deliberately taking a dive. The greatest fighters in history, from Muhammad Ali to David Haye, have spoke about prolonging fights for a variety of reasons, normally monetary. The trouble with Froch’s case is that his relatives had bet on the match and, from what he has said, it seems like this was his reason for holding up Groenewald.

Nonetheless, despite his denial of any breach of the rules set out by the control board, Froch seems to have realised his mistake. He has since said that his comments were ‘light-hearted’ and should not have been taken seriously.

Froch does not appear too concerned by facing the board, and neither does most of the sporting press. The Guardian doubts it will affect his scheduled fight with Lucian Bute in May, and claims that Froch will most likely be fined, but keep his licence to fight.

 

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