Nottingham’s British and Commonwealth super middleweight champion Carl Froch and Russia’s Sergey Tatevosyan came head to head for the first time yesterday ahead of their 12 round showdown at the Nottingham Arena on Friday night.
The pair compete at championship weight in the top of the bill contest on the Hennessy Sports and GoldenPalace.com “Cobra’s Hood’ event that also features the championship for the vacant English welterweight title between Hennessy Sports standout prospect John O’Donnell and fellow unbeaten puncher Stuart Elwell.
O’Donnell and event promoter Mick Hennessy were also both in attendance at the presser at the Revolution Russian Vodka bar in Froch’s home city of Nottingham.
Froch on Tatevosyan:
Sergey Tatevosyan is exactly the kind of opponent I have to beat to get where I want to be â€“ winning world titles. He is well ranked, very tough and has been in with the very best. Like a lot of the other top super middleweights out there he is a southpaw. He has never been stopped, despite the level of opposition he has faced. It’s important that I look good against him.
I’m already number three in the world, so if I put in a big performance it will set me up for the rest of 2007. It should line up that final eliminator for a world title and then hopefully a world title fight by the end of the year.
Tatevosyan (through a translator) on Froch:
I have seen his fights. He is a good fighter. He has had a fast progression. But now he is fighting me it will be hard for him. It will be a good fight.
Tatevosyan on his last opponent and possible future Froch opponent Lucian Bute:
He was good. He was very good. But I will save comparing him and Carl until after Friday. Then I will let you know.
Mick Hennessy on Froch-Tatevosyan:
This is the perfect fight for Carl. No credible British challenger wants to fight him, so it made sense to look to the world picture. Sergey is proven at that level and it was very much in our mind that he was a southpaw. This is a big challenge for Carl, but one he can benefit from immensely. He is on the verge of deservedly becoming a major star and this fight is the next step towards that.
John O’Donnell on challenging for his first title:
I’m really buzzing. I just want to get in there now and get on with the fight. Stuart Elwell is a good fighter. He is undefeated like me, but I’m really confident.
I am in great condition and I have had great sparring. I have been sparring with Carl and with Junior Witter, (Hennessy Sports promoted WBC world light welterweight champion). You cannot get better sparring than that. No fighter in the country gets better sparring. I am very grateful to Carl and Junior.
Froch on O’Donnell:
John is where I am at a while back when I boxed Alan Page. He is undefeated and boxing for the English title. In a while he will be sitting where I am.
He is an outstanding fighter. I am not just saying that because he is my stable mate. I have experienced it first hand. He hits you with shots from every angle. He puts a massive number of shots together and you can’t tell where they are coming from. For me, he is the best thing coming through for a mile. There is nothing else out there to touch him.
Hennessy on O’Donnell:
John is an unbelievable talent and he couldn’t have better people around him. His trainer Robert McCracken has brought the very best out of him and the sparring he is getting is invaluable. Carl is in the same gym and Junior came down to London for several sessions when we struggled to get southpaw sparring. For a WBC champion to do that on short notice says something. That tells you all you need to know about Junior Witter.