By Kevin Francis, courtesy of The Daily Star
CARL Froch last night added to Amir Khan’s woes by claiming that HE is Britain’s top boxer and not the Bolton bruiser.
Khan was rightly regarded as our best man in the ring before his shock defeat to Lamont Peterson in Washington at the weekend.
That defeat saw him lose his WBA and IBF light-welterweight belts but he has still been shortlisted for BBC Sports Personality of the Year.
Right now, though, the only trophies Khan has are a shiner and a sore ear after his controversial points defeat in Washington – and Froch claims no-one can dispute his claim to be Britain’s No.1.
And the WBC super- middleweight champion is convinced he can confirm that status if he beats undefeated WBA king Andre Ward, 27, in Saturday’s final of the Super Six at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.
He told me: “I am the top fighter in Britain at the minute. If people want to give me credit for what I have achieved, then great.
“If they don’t, I’m not bothered. I have gone past that stage of caring what people say about me.
“I have the hardest fight of my career on Saturday.
“It’s a world title unification fight against an unbeaten fighter for the WBC and WBA titles. No-one can ask for more than that.
“I have won all my fights as far as I’m concerned and I maintain that I beat Mikkel Kessler, which the record books claim is my only defeat.”
Froch maintains that he has fought tougher opponents since he beat Jean Pascal three years ago to win the WBC belt for the first time and says Ward is better than Peterson.
He said: “I know Amir Khan had Lamont Peterson but mine is the better fight.
“I’ve been at the top of my game for a couple of years now, while Ward’s unbeaten. He’s a world champion and an ambitious fighter.
“Our fight has the potential to go either way, which makes it exciting.”
While Khan claims he will quit at 28 and David Haye retired at 31, Froch says he is good enough for a few more years.
He celebrated his 34th birthday in July and reckons he can carry on at the top level until he’s 37 or 38. “I am like a goalkeeper who can carry on longer than the outfield players,” said the Cobra.
“As long as my body keeps getting out of bed in the morning and I’m still enjoying it, then I’ll keep going.
“Realistically, I’m not going to box until I’m 40. But 35, 37 maybe 38, who knows?
“You can’t define things like that.
“I was a late starter as a pro – I didn’t turn pro until I was 24 – so I’m very fresh.
“I’m at the peak of my career. I’m still doing it, so why retire? There is a long list of fighters waiting for the Cobra to get in the ring with them after I demolish Ward.”
Froch has been in New York for just over two weeks, fine tuning his preparations with trainer Rob McCracken at his Manhattan gym.
And he is convinced that he has the power to put the first blemish on the American’s perfect record of 24 straight wins.
He said: “I have the beating of Ward. If I hit anybody on the chin, they are going to hit the canvas.
“I’m looking to hurt him early and do a job on him. I have got the class to do it.”
Meanwhile, Froch is anxious ahead of Saturday’s fight after the way Khan was controversially beaten by Peterson.
Froch said: “I’m fighting away from home and I can’t leave a fight verdict in the hands of the judges.
“I will do everything I can to make sure it doesn’t go the distance.”