Carl Froch has declared himself ready for a war ahead of his lucrative rematch with George Groves on Saturday night.
The Cobra was widely considered unprepared both physically and mentally for the last fight, with Groves gaining the pre-fight mental edge over his more experience counterpart.
Unfortunately for Froch it translated into the fight itself, finding himself on the canvas in round one and largely being handed a beating before a controversial stoppage.
Despite immediate calls for a rematch before the IBF mandated such a decision, some quarters were suggesting Froch favoured a Las Vegas showdown against Mexican boxer Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
However, the 36-year-old insists the rubber match against his London foe could not come soon enough.
Speaking to Sky Sports at an open training session at Broadmarsh shopping centre in Nottingham, Froch said: “I am ready and prepared for war on May 31. I’m going to leave everything in the ring. My heart, soul, blood, sweat, tears if necessary – it’s all going in there.”
There have also been a few rumblings among the boxing fraternity that the two-belt champion may have aged considerably since the clash in November last year.
After looking under-cooked at the weigh-in and uncomfortable during the ring walks, Froch walked onto a staggering right hand from the challenger in round one. He also absorbed a string of right hands over the proceeding rounds and such heavy blows are widely thought to take years off a fighter’s career.
It is far from the first energy-sapping bout Froch has been involved in. Two brutal wars with Danish warrior Mikkel Kessler epitomise the career of Nottingham’s biggest hero, although some believe his time is up.
But he believes the 80,000 fans packed into Wembley will see the very best Carl Froch.
"The angry, aggressive, spiteful, bitter, war-hardened, tough, strong, mentally determined dangerous fighter, brutal warrior - that's what I am,” he said. "You'll see that guy turn up on 31 May I promise you that because I am ready."
Referee Howard Foster halted the previous fight in controversial fashion in round nine, with Groves under fire for the first time but still ably defending himself. As a reaction to the over-zealous refereeing and poor judging (two judges had Froch down by just one point at the time, despite taking a beating), neutral officials have been appointed to control the rematch.
Both fighters can expect to earn upwards of seven-figures for the bout, which promises to be even bigger than Nigel Benn-Chris Eubank II at Old Trafford.
That particular affair ended in an anti-climatic draw, but if both boxers fight how they’re talking in the lead-up, it is set to be an explosive affair.
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