NICK MATTHEW: Dedication of evergreen Froch is a knockout for me

Super middleweight world champion Carl Froch
Super middleweight world champion Carl Froch

Having seen Carl Froch train in the gym a couple of times at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield before his fight with George Groves, it was very clear that he meant business.

When I have a rest period during my training camp, I like to chat to somebody and have a laugh. But I could tell Carl was in the zone and he looked like he had the blinkers on.

I have never spoken to Carl and I did think about going over and having a chat with him. I decided against it in the end because I didn’t want to upset him by interrupting his preparation. I thought he might knock me out if I did!

Carl is somebody I have always admired for his dedication and professionalism. I feel like I am doing an all right job of prolonging my career and improving all sides of my performance as I get older, and Carl is a shining example of that.

Given Carl’s links to the city, I wanted him to win and was pleased he knocked out Groves in the eighth round. I actually missed the fight of the year as I was flying back to the UK following a holiday with my wife, Esme. I didn’t get back to East Midlands Airport until late Saturday night. As soon as our plane landed, quite a few people got their mobile phones out and tried to find out what happened.

From a distance, I have always supported Carl throughout his career. For me, he is different to your typical boxer. Carl is not full of bravado and doesn’t spout rubbish. I know he lost his head a little bit in the first fight with Groves. He let him get under his skin and rattle him. Maybe that changed his approach in the second meeting. But usually Carl does show respect to the other guy. He is an unbelievable competitor and he has confidence in his own ability.

* It was amazing to be part of the Queen’s Baton Relay last Sunday. It was an inspiring day. The weather was beautiful and there was a great turn out in Sheffield. To cap everything off, a new picture of me was unveiled in the Hall of Fame area of the EIS.

There were many people who came to cheer me on and wish me good luck. It was a great feeling and I’m going to try and use that so spur me on over the coming months. Hopefully I will give them something to cheer about in Glasgow.

The Relay was the start of the Commonwealth Games countdown. I’ve got seven weeks until it begins. I’ve had a couple of weeks off so this has been my first week of full training. The hard work starts now!