Carl Froch believes Tony Bellew sparring sessions could prove tougher than Yusaf Mack
Carl Froch believes Tony Bellew sparring sessions could prove tougher than Yusaf Mack By Phil Barnett, Press Association Sport (Nov 7, 2012)
Froch believes his explosive sparring sessions with fellow Englishman
Tony Bellew ahead of next week's IBF title defence against Yusaf Mack
could prove to be tougher than the fight itself. The
Nottingham super-middleweight regularly trades blows with his fiery
compatriot in training and despite their friendship, the pair are
unashamedly spiteful inside the ring.
35, also benefits from his connections with the Team GB set-up due to
trainer Rob McCracken's role as performance director in Sheffield and
regularly spars with the cream of the country's amateur talent.
of his November 17 defence against Mack in Nottingham he has worked
with two former amateur stars - Commonwealth Games gold medalist
Courtney Fry and ex-Olympic hopeful Callum Smith - as well as
Liverpudlian hardman Bellew. All
three are natural light-heavyweights and should prepare Froch well for
his meeting with Philadelphian Mack, who is dropping down from that
division to attempt to spring a massive upset.
sparring is tougher than the actual fight," Froch told Press
Association Sport. "It's very intense, especially with Tony Bellew
because we don't pull any punches in there.
train and spar like we're fighting because that's how you need to be.
You need to get that mindset and let your big shots go, because what you
do in sparring and training, you do on fight night too.
"It can be very tough, but it's all part and parcel of it."
added: "Courtney Fry is a light-heavyweight, Tony Bellew is a very
strong light-heavyweight and Callum Smith is going to fight at
super-middleweight as a professional but had stepped up to
light-heavyweight as an amateur before turning pro.
are all big lads, tall and rangy and strong. It's a big advantage to
get great sparring. It's is one of the most important aspects of your
training camp and sometimes you struggle to get the sparring. You fly
them in from America and they don't want to be here, you get them from
Europe and stay a week before going home. "But we've got serious fighters here who are serious about the sport and want to do well.
Bellew is on the fringes of fighting for a world title. Callum is
eager, he's just turned pro and wants to show he's a contender.
never used Courtney Fry for sparring before but he's tall and rangy and
throws a lot of straight punches like Mack and he's bigger and heavier
"So it's been brilliant to have good, all-round sparring this camp." Froch
defends the belt he won in May - with a five-round bludgeoning of
Lucian Bute - at the Trent FM Arena in his native Nottingham a week on
Saturday. He does so with a slight injury inflicted by Fry in one of their recent sessions. "I got elbowed on the nose on Friday but it's nothing serious," said 'The Cobra'.
nothing serious, I got some butterfly stitches put on as a
precautionary measure, more than anything else, because I didn't want it
to get any worse.
happened in round one of the sparring session and I did a 12-round spar
that day, we just patched it up and went again. It's fine and it's
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