Froch: I'm the good guy
Carl Froch believes his world super-middleweight title defence against George Groves in Manchester on Saturday night will go down alongside the great domestic grudge matches.
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Froch has made no secret of his dislike for the unbeaten Groves in a fiery build-up to a fight which appears to have caught the public's imagine despite the champion's insistence Groves does not belong in the same ring.
The Nottingham 36-year-old believes the fight's popularity is due less to the challenge Groves brings to the table and more because the British public have always relished a good-guy, bad- guy clash.
Casting himself firmly in the former category, Froch, who will put his WBA and IBF titles on the line, said : "Groves is British and he's horrible and I don't think anybody likes him, which always helps make a fight big.
"It's goodie versus baddie and I'm willing to be the good guy. George Groves has very much made himself the bad guy because of his disrespect and the way in which he's conducted himself during this build-up."
Froch is convinced he is in for one of the easiest nights of his career against Groves and few could begrudge him a straight-forward assignment having consistently sought out the best in the business during his five-year period in world-class company.
Groves brings a 19-fight unbeaten record to the table but arguably his most notable win remains a tight majority decision over his former amateur rival James DeGale in May 2011.
The Londoner, who is 11 years Froch's junior, has been mocked by Froch for publicly revealing what he insists are his detailed plans to beat the champion, but claims he affords him plenty of respect.
"Of course I respect him as a fighter, but he's done his very best to try to tarnish my name and he's just contradicted himself constantly - he's the only one being disrespectful in this fight," saud Groves, after the two of them had to be seperated at Friday's weigh-in.
"He wants me to come in and be really nice and shake his hand and say can I be a friend afterwards and thanks for the opportunity, but the fact is I've shown up knowing I'm going to win and he's struggled to live with that.
"Against DeGale I really had to fight with the emotions because it really was personal, but this time when I get in the ring with Carl Froch I don't know anything about him and it will be strictly business.
"I always like being the underdog. I like people writing me off and I love it when they come up to me afterwards and tell me they thought I was going to get knocked out in a round and it didn't happen."
Froch believes his rival is running scared and claimed to be well aware of what Groves is going through after admitting to harbouring self-doubts of his own ahead of his bout against former middleweight champion Jermain Taylor in 2009.
The fight in Connecticut was Froch's major US debut and he was up against a globally respected opponent who had made his name with back-to-back wins over the great Bernard Hopkins.
Froch said: "When I went over to fight Jermain Taylor I wasn't quite sure if I was good enough. I thought, can I really beat this guy? It's that nervousness you get before the fight and those sleepless nights.
"I got decked in round three but I managed to keep my calm and composure and get through the later rounds, and eventually I managed to win the fight by knocking him out in the final seconds.
"It's all part of the learning curve at the top level and it's what George Groves is going through now. He has got himself involved in a fight this big against someone like me, and the way he's behaving is senseless and stupid."
Also on the bill, Manchester's Scott Quigg puts his WBA super-bantamweight title on the line against Diego Silva while Olympic gold medalist Luke Campbell and unbeaten prospect Kal Yafai are also on the card.