Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Carl Froch Praises Trainer Robert McCracken

Robert McCracken and Carl Froch take a moment from their gym workout to pose for a picture in front of the heavy bag.

WBC super middleweight titlist Carl “The Cobra” Froch gives all praise to his trainer Robert McCracken for ushering him to his sensational victory over Jermain Taylor this past Saturday night at the MGM Grand at Foxwoods in Mashantucket, Connecticut.

Though he won by stoppage with only 14 seconds remaining in the 12th and final round, Froch had a rough night, especially early on. He was decked in the third round by a Taylor right hand and it was the first time Froch had been down as an amateur or pro. Froch said that the advice his trainer gave to him in the corner helped keep him calm and composed and he gave all credit to one man.

“The professional advice of my corner man, Rob McCracken,” Froch said. “Rob's been there himself, he's been hurt in fights, he knows what it's all about. That's the reason I've got Rob in my corner. That's the reason I'm a professional because of Rob McCracken. I probably would have retired from the amateurs and gone to work in an office if I hadn't met Robert and that's the truth of it. The knowledge he brings to the game, the knowledge he has instilled in me, takes me through these kinds of fights.”

McCracken, 40, was a very accomplished fighter in his own right who fought as a middleweight between 1991 and 2001. After consecutive losses to Keith Holmes in a shot at the WBC middleweight title, and a decision loss to Howard Eastman, McCracken retired at age 32 with a record of 33-2, 20 knockouts. Not long after he retired he began training fighters.

McCracken has been with Froch practically since the very beginning and he says that his charge is unique.

“Carl Froch is a special fighter. He is the only fighter I have ever came across that you just know he is going to win,” he says. “Be it sparring, be it a fight, you know he is going to get 'em. It can be the last round, it can be the first round. He is a phenomenal puncher. When I was a kid I used to watch the Tommy Hearns fights and stuff like that. This kid punches every bit as hard hard as any of 'em. His knockout record is phenomenal. He is a phenomenal puncher and he is a phenomenal athlete. And I tell the press this all of the time 'We won't get a Carl Froch again for a long, long time.' He is a special fighter.”

McCracken says that Froch will look better next time out and that the pressure of coming to America threw him off his game on Saturday.

“I noticed that he was a little bit different on the night of the fight,” said McCracken. “The nerves got a little bit to him. He wasn't himself. I don't think anybody would be the same in coming over and fighting Jermain Taylor.”

Although he is a tremendous asset to him inside the ropes, Froch says that McCracken is an asset to him outside the ropes as well.

“He has installed a sensibility and calmness in my character,” says Froch. “I'm a different man than I was seven years ago when I met Rob. He has helped me so much in my personal life and with my character, and even when I'm not in the gym. I'm a different person since I met Rob.”

As for McCracken, he said he knew the first time he laid eyes on Froch that he could be a special fighter one day and that the man now known as “The Cobra” had the makings of a world champion from the very beginning.

“He's like an old-time fighter. He doesn't fight conventionally, you know, with the left and right,” McCracken said. “He's got loads of ability and he's a heavy, heavy puncher. With his reach and his athleticism, I mean, you 'd have to be blind not to see when he was an amateur you could make something really special out of him. He's always had the potential, but it was just making him believe in himself.”

April 2009

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