Carl Froch has revealed that Tony Bellew is the only man to ever knock him down in a sparring session.
The pair of former world champions used to have wars in the gym during their careers as they helped one another prepare for upcoming fights.
Froch explained on his ‘Froch on Fighting’ Podcast: “So there’s a story I’ll tell you now. Me and Tony Bellew used to spar, we used to have some heavy spars.
“He’s put me over. He’s the only person to put me over in sparring I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before.
“I’m not bothered, he put me down on the floor. He caught me with a right hand, sweet, on the chin, as I was backing him up, thinking I was gonna chin him.
“He timed me and caught me with a right hand. And he can punch, Tony Bellew.
“I got off the floor and said, ‘Oh, my knee went there, my knee went a bit funny.’
“I had my ACL reconstructed a few years before that and I made out like my knee went a bit wobbly – but it didn’t.
“But yeah, I tried to get him back and I hit him back and I hit him hard as well. He had a bit of a– he felt it, let’s just say he felt the power.
“I remember one day Rob McCracken shut the blinds in the gym, because people used to stare through the glass doors in the gym in Sheffield.
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“So he used to twist the blinds so they’re shut, all the amateurs would be out the gym. It’d be me, Rob McCracken, Tony Bellew and one or two of his trainers at the time. And that was it.
“We used to set the clock, warm up, do a bit of bags, bandage hands, put sparring gloves on, get gumshield, headguard and it used to feel like a fight.
“I used to get the nerves and go though the whole nervous process of actually fighting.
“And we’d have some absolutely outrageous 12-rounders. Humdingers. Some of them are better than fights.
“He’s wobbled me, I’ve wobbled him, then the bell goes and it’s round six and I’m thinking, ‘We’ve got 12 rounds of this, I’ve got another six rounds to go.’
“He’d be tired, I’d be blowing out my a*** and we’d do the 12. At the end of it we’d have a hug, we’d sit at the side of the ring.
“We’d get our gloves off and our headguards off and I’d say, ‘You’re a f***ing a***hole you are.’
“And he’d say, ‘Yeah, you’re a hard b*****rd.’”