Joshua vs Klitschko: Carl Froch recalls his historic night at Wembley Stadium
Last Updated: 20/04/17 8:31am
Carl Froch has been there, seen it and done it before but with Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko heading to Wembley Stadium, we asked him to remember the crucial events on that magical day on May 31, 2014.
'The Cobra' will be part of the Sky Sports Box Office team on April 29 and there is an in-depth look at his historic win over George Groves in 'Froch Returns' on at 6.30pm, tonight and via Catch Up.
I had never been to Wembley when it was announced. But before the first fight up in Manchester I looked at Wembley every day! I was staying at the Hilton opposite the stadium because I was doing that dance programme. I remember American Football games and football matches happening but all I did was run round it trying to get fit. I was doing two laps a day and that was taking me 10 minutes. It was weird because that's why I ended up back there for the second one. Wembley had a link from the very start.
I'd always turned up about three-and-a-half hours before a fight but I wanted to arrive early for this one to watch Anthony Joshua fight. I can remember standing at the back underneath the stands and watching it and there was probably only 15,000-20,000 present then, but the noise of the crowd sounded like a Colosseum. When a roar went up I heard it but it just disappeared into the air, not bouncing off the roof or walls, very surreal. I just remember thinking: 'this is a proper, proper place to fight'.
The dressing room
I think I was in the home dressing room, but it was big enough that's for sure. I can remember going in there thinking I'd got there a bit early. The drug tester was there and he was around, sat next to me, and I asked if I could go next door into the physio room and get my head down. He said I couldn't turn the light off because he had to keep an eye on me, so I asked him to use the light on his phone. So there I was lying on the physio's table for 45 minutes nodding off and I actually dreamed about the ringwalk, everything until that first bell sounded. I know I was dreaming because my best made Adam told me I was snoring, so I wasn't just visualising.
I heard something about it but I don't remember seeing it. It was only afterwards when I sat down and watched it back, I saw it. I actually thought it was pretty cool if I'm honest. Very patriotic, the traditional big red, double-decker bus, I liked that. Mind you it didn't go very far, did it?
Froch on the bus
They were going to start me behind where one of the goals would've been and have me walking down the middle from there but the closer it got, they were talking about dropping me in on a platform like that Mikkel Kessler one, but I wasn't that keen. I was happy just to walk in and Eddie just said: "That'll make it a lot easier!" They stuck me in front of all those flames and everything but I didn't have a clue. I was just told by the Sky Sports floor manager where to go and how long to wait, but I was in the zone. I remember looking around at all the lights from people's phones but the ring was a small blob in the middle of it all and I could see the light bouncing off his bald head - or should I say receding hairline!
I can see why plenty of people had him coming right back into it before it ended. For the first four rounds I took the centre of the ring and didn't give him a thing at all. It was important for me to take charge, only taking the odd step backwards, forcing him to walk round that small ring in circles, catching him and making him feel uncomfortable. I did that for the first five rounds but because he was wasn't prepared to come to me and stand in front of me or engage I had to get closer - and that let him let some shots go. Unless he was letting some shots go, there were no openings for me to knock him out. Half a step and the odd shot but I knew I could line up a big shot.
I honestly didn't think one shot would wipe him out. I hit Mikkel Kessler with the same shot a few times and he just stood there smiling at me. I guess I couldn't have hit him any better but it still makes me smile because in the build-up, Groves had been saying he was going to finish me with a left hook - and he tried and that opened it up for that right. You could say it was Groves' fault, constantly going on about the left hook, the one he'd tried to land.
I just asked him if he was alright. I've got quite a dry sense of humour so I just wanted to check he was okay and told him he'd taken a really big shot. It might have been a bit patronising but I still stand by what I said: it wasn't the end for Groves and he could come again. I've said since I would like to see him win a world title. I won't be singing his name, but it would be nice to see.
Everyone knows I proposed to Rachel. It was two-and-a-half years ago and we are still waiting. We are waiting for our new daughter Penelope to walk, then she can be a bridesmaid and walk down the aisle.
Well after the first one, I was getting abused, sworn at and spat at but in the second one I didn't get anything but love. I can't say I turned round to take a final look at the crowd and where it had just happened because I am always worried someone could throw something at me, so I got under the thing that covers the players as quick as possible. It didn't really matter where it was because once it was finished people would come in, clean up, start dismantling the ring, and it was all over then. There was no need to look back and reminisce, the job was done.