By Kevin Francis, courtesy of The Daily Star
CARL FROCH wants to become the evergreen face of boxing by emulating the fitness regime of people like Ryan Giggs and David Beckham.
And in order to achieve his aim, the 34-year-old Nottingham fighter has KO’d the kind of dangerous activities that once used to give him such a buzz.
Froch meets American Andre Ward in the final of the Super Six tournament in Atlantic City on Saturday to determine who is the best super-middleweight in the world.
And he believes that his strict no-nonsense lifestyle these days has given him the perfect platform on which to carry on performing.
He said: “I look at people like Ryan Giggs and David Beckham. People my sort of age, who are still performing at the top level, and think, ‘why can’t I do it?’.
“People say I am 34 and coming towards the end and I think what a load of rubbish. Some of the lads I went to school with are fat and old.
“Their hair has fallen out. They are in bad shape, drink, smoke and eat badly and they don’t exercise. They’re 34 going on 50 – I’m 34 going on 28 or 29 because I look after myself.
“You have to look after your body and I’ve looked after mine over the years. You have to be on your guard against injuries and keep yourself flexible.
“Like Giggs, I now do yoga and also pilates and, without sounding like a ponce, I’ve added that to my training regime.
“I look after myself more these days. I don’t drink at all. Smoking was banned a few years ago which helped me because I’ve always worked in pubs.
“I’ve had half a pint of Guinness or a pint about six months ago and I’ve never smoked. Smoking is for mugs as far as I’m concerned.
“Smoking has no purpose being in an athlete’s life. I have half a pint of Guinness and I get a headache.”
Froch has always liked the adrenalin rush he can get from speeding along on his motor bike but has now stopped that.
He has also curtailed some of the more silly outdoor pursuits that he feels can jeopardise his fitness ahead of fights.
He added: “I used to take risks but have cut out the kind of activities that can give me unexpected injury.
“For instance, I did my cruciate ligament playing football. I’m much safer in the ring. A lot of injuries in the ring are superficial.
“I don’t do as many silly things as I used to, like doing backflips in the garden with my brothers or climb trees.
“Then, a few months ago, I went to Center Parcs and I went mountain biking. My foot got caught in the pedal and I went over the handlebars.
“I fell into a tree and did my back in. Fortunately I was OK. So now I just avoid doing anything that can cause problems.”
So just how long can he go on? He added: “When I turned professional, I thought my trainer Robert McCracken and I would come together and decide when I would retire.
“But at 34 years old, and I’m not just saying this, I’m fitter, stronger and punch harder than I’ve ever done.
“My running has been phenomenal lately. Triathletes are a good example, they are all mid to late 30s and some are as old as 42.
“I do my pilates on the Nintendo Wii. There’s somebody on the TV guiding you through the moves and you are on the balance board.
“I stay on it and I don’t take as long off from the gym between fights these days.
“If I had three or four months off, it would be like a mountain to climb.”
THE Froch-Ward fight is live this Saturday on Sky Sports in HD.