BN: It’s been over a decade since my last fight against Carl Froch in May 2013.
MK: It’s hard to believe that it’s been ten years since my fight with Carl Froch. People still ask me if I’m still fighting and when my next fight will be. I have to remind them that my last fight was ten years ago. Time flies, but I am happy with my retirement. During that fight, my wife was pregnant with our first child, Romeo, who is now into go-karting. Currently, I am focused on training other fighters as well as myself. Although I don’t focus as much on boxing anymore, I engage in weightlifting, running, and other activities that interest me. Additionally, I have invested in various companies related to plumbing, building construction, and security. However, my main focus is training individuals who are determined to completely transform their lives by embracing a healthy lifestyle. Some of these individuals have serious health issues such as heart conditions and high blood pressure, and I am dedicated to helping them turn their lives around through training and guidance on proper nutrition. As for my retirement, it may not have been planned, but after some tough fights, I realized that I had pushed myself too hard in training. Two weeks prior to the fight, I could only manage six rounds due to extreme fatigue and high pulse rates. That’s when I understood that I needed to rest and take care of my body. I also discussed this with Froch, who had similar experiences towards the end. Although I sometimes miss boxing, I came close to making a comeback a few years ago. However, I had an unfortunate encounter with a tick while training, which led to a two-month break due to the complications associated with Borrelia. It took me eight months to recover and by then, I reconsidered my decision to return to the ring. I believe that things happen for a reason, and maybe it was a sign that I shouldn’t fight anymore. During my active boxing career, pay-per-view wasn’t prevalent, but even so, I made enough money to live comfortably. However, financial success alone does not determine one’s quality of life. I experienced some instances of being deceived by managers and promoters throughout my career, which led to significant financial losses. As for the rumors about a potential third fight with Froch, we did discuss it. Initially, he wanted the fight immediately after his rematch with George Groves, but I decided to take a break and reassess the situation. When I eventually expressed my interest in the fight, he wanted to take a break. So, we couldn’t reach an agreement. I still believe a third fight between us is necessary, and I hope Carl sees this and agrees to make it happen. However, he once proposed an exhibition fight where we wouldn’t hit each other too hard, but I know that’s not realistic. Sometimes, I miss boxing a lot, but I don’t miss the intense training leading up to a fight. A new chapter in my life began when my son, Romeo, was born. Shortly after, my daughter, Rosa-Lia, arrived. Now, I also have a four-year-old son named Helios. Being a parent has changed my priorities and given me other things to focus on besides boxing. Nevertheless, I continue to train young boxers, including Oliver Zaren, a talented Danish super-middleweight. As a parent, I feel a responsibility towards others, but if I were to consider a comeback, I would have to prioritize myself. The thought of having children while actively boxing scared me because I didn’t want to be in a situation where I couldn’t see them or be there for them. Now, when it comes to assessing the skill level of some of my opponents, Froch was one of the best. However, it’s always difficult to determine who was the hardest fight or the toughest opponent. Joe Calzaghe was definitely one of the toughest opponents I’ve faced in my career. He was an excellent fighter, although not necessarily a heavy hitter. What made him challenging to fight was his ability to constantly change his style and keep me on my toes. I actually had him in a tough spot during our close fight, shaking him up in the fourth round. Overall, I consider myself fortunate to have shared the ring with fighters like Froch and Calzaghe. We still maintain a good friendship today and occasionally catch up with each other, whether it’s through phone calls or in-person meetings. Carl truly deserves his induction into the International Boxing Hall of Fame due to his resilience and toughness as a boxer. He would take a punch and keep pushing forward. Similarly, Joe was an exceptional fighter who posed unique challenges in the ring. Despite the intense battles we had, we can now laugh about those moments and appreciate the opportunity we had to face each other.