CARL FROCH will be the latest British fighter to receive the ultimate American tribute when he is inducted into boxing’s Hall of Fame in Canastota next year.
Froch, to his surprise and delight, found out last week he will be going over to the US in June to be feted at the annual three-day festival.
Carl Froch held super-middleweight world titles between 2008 and 2015Getty
He will find his name now ranks alongside all the sport’s revered legends — including Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Robinson, Joe Louis and Rocky Marciano.
Nottingham’s former WBC, IBF and WBA world super-middleweight champion is the seventh boxer from our shores to be honoured since the Hall of Fame was inaugurated 32 years ago.
The others whose talent and distinguished careers have been recognised across the Atlantic are Randy Turpin, Ken Buchanan, Lennox Lewis, Barry McGuigan, Joe Calzaghe and Naseem Hamed.
Being a Hall of Famer doesn’t seem to be such a big deal in this country — so far Froch’s elevation to elite status has largely been ignored here.
I can assure everyone that, as far as America’s fighters and their fans are concerned, being in the HOF is the equivalent of getting a knighthood.
When I congratulated Carl, he said: “I don’t have the words to describe how I feel — I’m so happy and proud.
“When I turned pro 20 years ago, the thought that one day I would enter the Hall of Fame never entered my head.
“To know my name will be alongside the greatest fighters of all time is way beyond my wildest dreams.”
Robert Smith, secretary of the British Boxing Board of Control, said: “I’m thrilled for Carl. He’s been a magnificent ambassador for boxing and for him to be in the Hall of Fame does wonders for British prestige.”
Froch, who lost just two of his 35 contests — against highly talented Andre Ward in America and Mikkel Kessler in Denmark — had his last fight when he KO’d George Groves in front of an 80,000 Wembley crowd eight years ago.
He decided to retire when he was at the top to become a respected Sky pundit.
He had the sense to resist making a comeback when he was offered millions to fight Gennady Golovkin.
If only every boxer had the wisdom to resist carrying on fighting way past their best.
Froch is not alone in fearing for the health of those misguided souls who refuse to acknowledge the dangerous path they are treading.
Carl, like most of us, watched in dismay as Derek Chisora suffered a half-hour hammering from Tyson Fury a couple of weeks ago.
And he simply cannot understand what makes a 38-year-old family man who earned around £2million that night insist on carrying on.
Yet Chisora, as he was nursing his wounds, said: “It was fun, I did enjoy it. I’m not retiring yet. I want to go on the road now for more fights.”
I certainly didn’t find it fun seeing Derek being severely beaten up — in fact only sadists could have enjoyed such a one-sided spectacle.
As long as he can prove he is 100 per cent fit then the BBBofC are powerless to make him quit — but the promoters could save him from himself by refusing to put him on.
Froch, 44, strongly believes Derek should never fight again.
He said: “Unfortunately, so many fighters have known nothing else other than boxing — and even if they are millionaires, they don’t know what to do with the rest of their lives.”
Fortunately, Carl is not in that situation.
He’s now an extremely shrewd and successful businessman with a considerable property portfolio — and he also runs a building company.