Froch was voted Fighter of the Year for 2012 by World Boxing News and BoxRec. In 2013, the UK edition of GQ magazine voted him Sportsman of the Year. He reached a peak ranking of sixth best, pound for pound, by BoxRec and The Ring magazine, and in 2013 was listed by the BBC as the best British boxer, pound for pound. Known for his aggressive crowd-pleasing style, formidable punching power, stamina, and toughness, Froch is considered by many to have one of the best chins of his era.
Carl Martin Froch was born in Colwick, Nottingham, in 1977, the son of Carol (Douglas) and Frank Froch. His paternal grandparents were Polish (his paternal grandfather also had German ancestry), while Carl's mother's family is English. Early in his life Froch wanted to become a footballer and play for Nottingham Forest, his local football team, and has stated that he would love to fight at the City Ground. Froch is a fan of Johnny Cash. His fiancée is Rachael Cordingley, a British glamour model, with whom he has a son, Rocco, and a daughter, Natalia. On 11 September 2015, the couple welcomed a second daughter, Penelope.
He is a supporter of Nottingham Forest and occasionally trained at Forest's training ground before fights. He has also appeared on the Sky Sports Saturday morning football show Soccer AM the week before a fight.
Froch began boxing at the Phoenix ABC in Gedling, Nottingham. As an amateur, he won two ABA middleweight titles in 1999 and 2001 and a bronze medal at the 2001 World Amateur Boxing Championships before turning pro and having his first pro fight in March 2002. As an amateur, Froch lost to American Peter Manfredo Jr.
Froch was trained by Robert McCracken and managed by Mick Hennessy earlier in his career, and later by Eddie Hearn. Froch made his debut at the age of 24 in March 2002. He fought at the York Hall in Bethnal Green, London against veteran 36 year old journeyman Michael Pinnock (4-52-8, 2 KOs), who weighed 10 pounds more than Froch, in a scheduled 6 round bout. Froch won the fight via a fourth-round technical knockout. Froch fought a further four times that year, winning them all with three coming by first-round knockout against Ojay Abrahams, Darren Covill and Mike Duffield and one victory coming by a points decision win against Paul Bonson. Froch started 2003 with a knockout win against Valery Odin, fighting for the first time at the Nottingham Arena, the same arena he would win his first world title five years later. Froch would next fight in March, April and October of that year defeating Varujan Davtyan and Michael Monaghan by knockout and Vage Kocharyan via a points decision, respectively. At this point in his career, Froch racked up 9 wins in as many fights, with 7 coming by way of knockout.
In November 2003, Froch fought fellow unbeaten British contender Alan Page (8-0, 4 KOs) at the Derby Storm Arena in Derby for the vacant English super-middleweight title. In round 7, Froch hit a hard right followed by an uppercut, although Page didn't go down, referee John Keane stepped in to call an end to the fight. In 2004, Froch won the Commonwealth and vacant British super middleweight championships by defeating Charles Adamu and Damon Hague respectively. He has defended both against Matthew Barney, Brian Magee and Tony Dodson and the Commonwealth belt alone against Ruben Groenewald and Dale Westerman.
Following a victory over the Russian Sergey Tatevosyan, on 9 November 2007 at Trent FM Arena in Nottingham, he stopped the veteran ex-world champion Robin Reid, after which Reid retired from the sport for four years.
On 6 December 2008, Froch fought Canadian Jean Pascal for the vacant WBC super-middleweight title and won after a hard-fought 12-round brawl. Both combatants showed enormous grit and determination, landing and taking huge shots from one another without even flinching. After the fight, it was revealed that Froch had sustained a perforated eardrum and a cracked rib in his final sparring session before the fight. Froch's promoter Mick Hennessy gave Froch the opportunity to withdraw from the fight, but Froch refused. Since the fight, Froch and Pascal (who has since become a light-heavyweight champion) have become friends on a personal level and have made a promise to face each other again in the future, though this seems unlikely given Froch's retirement.
On 25 April 2009, Froch fought Jermain Taylor in his first defence of his WBC super-middleweight title, at the Foxwoods Resort in Foxwoods, Connecticut. Froch survived a third-round knockdown – the first of his entire career, amateur and professional – and, behind on two of the three judges' cards coming into the final round, he managed to stop his opponent with 14 seconds remaining in the 12th round to retain his WBC super-middleweight title.
After the fight, Froch was quick to send out a verbal challenge to unbeaten Welsh boxer Joe Calzaghe and was also quoted as saying "Kessler, Pavlik, Hopkins, I want them all to feel the force."
On 13 July 2009, Froch agreed to take part in the Super Six World Boxing Classic super-middleweight tournament devised by American giant Showtime, with the winner of the tournament winning the WBC and WBA world super-middleweight titles. The tournament featured 6 boxers including Andre Dirrell, Mikkel Kessler, Arthur Abraham, Jermain Taylor, Andre Ward and Froch. Froch's first opponent in the Super Six was Andre Dirrell.
The bout took place in Nottingham on 17 October and Froch's WBC title was on the line. Froch won the fight and retained his title with a split decision victory over the previously undefeated Andre Dirrell. Two of the judges scored the bout 115–112 in favour of Froch, with the other scoring the bout 114–113 in favour of Dirrell.
Froch's next fight was against Mikkel Kessler, who lost the WBA super-middleweight title to Andre Ward. Froch's WBC title was again on the line. In a closely fought contest in Kessler's home country of Denmark where both men had great moments throughout the fight, Kessler took Froch's title and inflicted Froch's first professional defeat via unanimous decision, the judges scoring the contest by margins of 116–112, 115–113 and 117–111. The scoring was somewhat controversial, as some boxing announcers had scored the fight much closer, with some awarding Froch the win and others scoring it a draw. Froch later stated that the fight was close and that he believes the decision would have gone his way if the event had been held in Nottingham. The fight was a contender for the 2010 Fight of the Year.
Froch faced former IBF middleweight champion hard hitting King Arthur Abraham in the third stage in Helsinki, Finland at the Hartwall Finland fearing that if he fought in Abraham's adoptive home country he might get mugged. However, since an eye injury forced Mikkel Kessler to relinquish his WBC title and resign from the tournament, Froch-Abraham was for the vacant WBC super-middleweight title. Both Froch and Abraham came off of a loss in stage two of the Super Six. Abraham lost after a disqualification against former Froch victim Andre Dirrell.
Froch regained the WBC super-middleweight title by gaining a unanimous points victory over Arthur Abraham in Helsinki. Froch won the fight against Abraham in a dominant manner, with the scores given by the judges of 119–109, 120–108 and 120–108, reflecting the one-sided nature of the bout.
Following his victory over Abraham, Froch entered the semifinal stage of the tournament. His semifinal opponent on 4 June 2011 in Atlantic City, New Jersey was Glen Johnson. Froch retained his title with a majority decision victory, with the scores given by the judges of 116–112, 117–111, and 114–114.
Carl Froch lost in the final of the Super Six World Boxing Classic tournament in a dramatic bout against undefeated WBA super-middleweight champion Andre Ward. The vacant The Ring super-middleweight title would be on the line in the fight, as well as Froch and Ward's super-middleweight titles. In the first 7 rounds, Ward outboxed Froch, successfully using his jab to neutralize Froch and beating Froch to the punch from a distance and at close range. In the later rounds, Ward seemed to take his foot off the gas, leaving Froch to win a couple of rounds near the end of the fight, though they were close and fairly competitive rounds. The judges scorecards were 115–113, 115–113 and 118–110, all in favor of Ward. Ward won the vacant The Ring super-middleweight title and is also regarded as becoming Lineal champion with his Super Six World Boxing Classic win against Froch, despite some independent sources rating undefeated IBF title holder Lucian Bute #1 or 2. The fight peaked at 580,000 viewers on Showtime.
The IBF officially enforced Carl Froch as Lucian Bute's number one mandatory challenger. The fight, billed as "No Easy Way Out", took place on 26 May 2012 in Froch's hometown of Nottingham. Despite being the underdog with bookmakers, critics and fans around the world, Froch dominated Bute throughout the fight to become the new IBF super-middleweight champion via TKO in round five, making Froch a three-time world champion.
After the Bute fight and acquiring IBF belt, Froch defeated Yusaf Mack via knockout. The British website BoxRec named Froch the "Fighter of the Year" in the end of 2012.
On 26 May 2013 (NB the match was scheduled for the 25th, but started after midnight BST), Froch faced WBA champion Mikkel Kessler in a rematch of their fight in 2010. This time it was Froch that was victorious via a unanimous points decision at The O2 Arena in London, with the judges scoring the bout 118-110, 116-112 and 115-113. After the match, Froch hinted at a rematch against Andre Ward in the UK, or a possible rubber match against Kessler.
The IBF installed George Groves as Froch's mandatory challenger, their bout taking place on Saturday 23 November at the Phones4u Arena in Manchester with Froch's IBF and WBA super-middleweight titles on the line. Despite being floored for only the second time in his career by a left hook right hand from Groves in the first round, Froch defended his titles with a TKO victory in Round 9. There was significant controversy as many observers felt that referee Howard Foster stepped in to end the contest prematurely. The three scoring judges had scored Groves ahead of Froch before Groves was shaken by some powerful Froch blows in the 9th. The controversial ending prompted a widespread demand for a rematch to be fought between the two.
On 24 January 2014, the IBF ordered a rematch between Froch and Groves, giving Froch 90 days to fight Groves or relinquish his IBF title.
On 13 February 2014, it was announced by Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing that Froch v Groves II would take place on 31 May 2014 at Wembley Stadium in London, England. Froch was quoted that the fight was what the 'British public want to see' and that was his reason for taking the option to give George Groves a rematch while defending his IBF and WBA super-middleweight titles. As soon as tickets went on sale, 60,000 tickets were sold in under an hour and a further 20,000 tickets were made available, making this the biggest ever attendance for a boxing match in Britain since the Second World War.
The fight was a more cagey affair than the first match, with both fighters initially looking to outbox each other. Froch was stronger in the earlier rounds, with Jim Watt unofficially scoring the earlier rounds in favour of the champion on his Sky Sports scorecard. By the end of the seventh round, both Richie Woodhall and Steve Bunce had the fight scored 4 rounds to 3 for Froch on the BBC scorecards. Groves came out fighting in the 8th round before Froch got him pinned against the ropes and delivered a right hand blow which knocked Groves out. The referee, Charlie Fitch, instantly called the fight, sensing Groves was clearly in no fit state to continue. BBC boxing commentator Mike Costello referred to it as "The best punch you will ever see in a British boxing ring". It was later named Knockout of the Year by The Ring for 2014.