By Nick Parkinson, courtesy of The Daily Star
CARL FROCH insists he should go down in history as better than Joe Calzaghe.
Froch was left frustrated when rival British super-middleweight Calzaghe hung up his gloves three years ago and denied him a showdown.
The Welshman was a world champion for 11 years in a brilliant, unbeaten 46-fight career and Froch is unlikely to come close to matching Calzaghe’s 21 world title defences.
Froch, 34, lost his WBC belt to American Andre Ward in December but gets the chance to win back another version of the world title when he challenges Canada’s unbeaten IBF king Lucian Bute on May 26.
The Nottingham boxer believes he has faced better opponents than Calzaghe after beating the likes of Jean Pascal, Jermain Taylor and Arthur Abraham.
Calzaghe conquered ring greats Bernard Hopkins and Roy Jones Jr as well as out-pointing Mikkel Kessler, who went on to beat Froch.
But two-time WBC champion Froch is adamant he has been in more memorable battles than Calzaghe and claims beating Bute will improve his legacy.
He said: “Joe was a fantastic fighter and retired undefeated but if you want to be critical, go down his record and have a look who he fought and when he fought them.
“Boxing is all about timing. He beat Bernard Hopkins and Roy Jones Jr but it is all about when you fight them and people know.
“He had a tough fight against Robin Reid. It was a split decision but he lost that fight. I could say I lost to Kessler but if that fight had been in Nottingham I’d have won.
“I’ve lost to Ward but everyone is talking about him being the best on the planet. It is no disgrace to lose at this level.
“If you look at the people who all have their legacy secured – Sugar Ray Robinson, Sugar Ray Leonard, Muhammad Ali – they all have defeats on their record.
“I am involved in high-quality fights. You win some, you lose some and I’ve only lost twice. Beating Bute, an unbeaten fighter, will be another great achievement.”
Froch expects it to be a sell-out against Bute because he is the type of fighter people want to see, with excitement, guts and determination on display.
“I am a good old-fashioned, passionate fighter from the cobbles,” said Froch.
“Fighting people is in our nature. We are barbarians and barbaric by nature. We love a good scrap and that’s what I give when I fight.”
Froch, who will have home advantage in Nottingham when he faces Romania-born Bute, insists trainer Rob McCracken’s commitment to the GB Olympic boxing team is not a problem.
McCracken is splitting his time between training Britain’s team for London 2012 and preparing Froch, who is happy to work alone if need be.
He added: “He is away for two weeks, given the option I would rather him not be – but it isn’t an issue.”