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Froch calls for rules to force older boxers out

Roy Jones Jr., now 47, was knocked out in brutal fashion last month by Enzo Maccarinelli. Dmitry Korotayev/Kommersant Photo via Getty Images

Former super-middleweight world champion Carl Froch has called for governing bodies to enforce an age limit on professional boxing.

The Nottingham fighter hung up his gloves last July at the age of 38 and said he had "nothing left to prove" after winning 33 of his 35 bouts, his last victory a stunning knockout of George Groves at Wembley Stadium to retain the WBA and IBF titles.

But after watching Roy Jones Jr., then 46, get knocked out in brutal fashion by Enzo Maccarinelli last month, Froch has suggested older fighters need to be prevented from putting themselves at risk.

"Boxing is a hurt game if you can't be at your best, can't be 100 percent mentally and physically switched on to performing, to win titles, defend titles, defend yourself in the correct fashion, then I don't think you should fight," Froch told the Daily Mail.

"I was just going past my best after I knocked Groves out. A year passed and I was in the gym thinking about fighting [Julio Cesar] Chavez Jnr, thinking about one last hurrah, maybe Vegas, maybe the City Ground [in his home town of Nottingham] and I got back in the gym after two or three weeks and it just wasn't me.

"Physically I was just a bit short which wasn't too bad, but the desire was gone. If the desire is not there then you are not pushing yourself to the limit you need to be at your best. But unfortunately for the people that come back into the ring, it is for the wrong reasons and usually it is money.

"They are forced into a situation where they feel like they need to box, or have to box to put food on the table, which is a shame.

"Boxing is not like any other sport, you have to weigh up the risk and reward. Things like playing football, tennis, you might be three sets to love down, but boxing you're going to the hospital on a stretcher and you know potentially you are going to get an injury you can't walk away from.

"I don't know whether they can bring different rules in on the licensing to stop people from coming back into the sport that have been retired a long time or past a certain age. There is an age limit of 35 on amateur boxing. They should consider putting an age limit on professional boxing."

Froch said in November he was training every day and remained open to offers of a comeback but claims he now no longer has the desire.

"I'll be able to fight until I am in my 70s, I believe, I just know how to fight -- but I just can't get to the shape I need to be in for a 12-round title fight," said Froch.

"A three-month training camp writes you off, I wake up and I literally can't get out of bed. I'll have to phone my physio, he will come over and lie me on my side and crack my back in place and I'll stand up and be straight into the ice bath, go for a sports massage, then a steady walk and then I'm like an old carthorse, all my bearings are greased up and then I can go for a training session.

"I boxed till my late 30s, so 47, that's impossible really to be at your best and if you aren't at your best you shouldn't be boxing."