Sports book review: The Cobra
By Carl Froch
Sportsbookofthemonth.com price: £5.99, saving 25% on rrp
There is a widely-held belief amongst sports writers that those who ply their trade within the ‘boxing game’ burden themselves unnecessarily.
It is the boxing writer’s lot, they argue, to continually persuade their audiences that the men who deliberately seek to administer pain to their opponents are not psychopaths, but sportsmen performing within a clearly-defined set of rules.
Few boxing scribes complain, which perhaps explains why writing about the noble art is usually so accomplished.
It would be wrong to suggest that The Cobra is great literature, but Carl Froch’s story is nonetheless a compelling series of anecdotal jabs mixed with punchy, often explosive writing.
His book opens with a succinct prologue short enough to demand the reader’s attention.
He reflects upon becoming the WBC super middleweight champion the previous night and, as a stream of memories flow through his mind, he’s taken back to the beginning, a youngster who always loved boxing. That love evaporated for a while. Yet Froch returned from being “an aimless teenager”, collecting models inside chocolate eggs to fall back in love with the sport again.
“Boxing,” he says, “had given me so much. It had brought so much value to my life.”
This engaging introduction, running to no more than two pages, leaves the reader hungry for more and Froch does not disappoint.
Born and raised on a Nottingham council estate, by the age of nine Froch was encouraged by his father to start boxing. Like so many father’s before him, it was Froch senior’s hope that a grounding in the ring would keep his son out of trouble. It proved an inspired suggestion, for young Carl’s talent was almost immediately evident.
Carl Froch would become the world super middleweight champion on three occasions, a career which included a number of terrific fights. High upon that list is his 2009 bout against Jermain Taylor, the first man to floor him in a professional fight. As the contest entered its final round, Froch was losing according to every judge’s scorecard when, with less than twenty second remaining, he gathered the strength from somewhere and, driven by an overwhelming desire to succeed, succeeded in knocking Taylor out. It was a truly stunning performance from a man who pulls no punches either inside or outside of the ring.
We’ve teamed up with Sports Book of the Month & have a copy of The Cobra to give away.
To win this week’s sports book, go to their website ( www.sportsbookofthemonth.com ) and answer the following question:
Who is the current WBC world heavyweight champion?