WHAT the hell is your jaw made from?
Ross Marshall, Facebook
Apparently granite. I fell off a cliff when I was quite young, my brother came down to the bottom to save me. I banged my head really, really hard but I wasn’t unconscious and I think even from a young age I’ve thought, ‘Why do people get knocked out?’ Like in James Bond when someone gets pistol whipped in the back of the head, why is he knocked out? I banged my head harder than that. So I think from a young age I knew I couldn’t really be knocked out. But when I first started taking punches, the first real hard shot I walked into that stands out for me was against Vage Kocharyan, it was an early fight and I walked into a really big right hand, it was an overhand right flush on the chin, and he’d knocked people out before, so early on in my career when I took shots like that, [trainer] Rob McCracken always told me, ‘The best chin in the business is the one that doesn’t get hit.’ I know that anyone can be knocked out, but when I watched that punch back on a replay I thought, ‘If I was ever going to get knocked out it would have been then.’
Where did the nickname “The Cobra” come from?
Joanne Hale, Facebook
Rob McCracken gave me that name, sat eating a pasta dish in a restaurant in London. We were going through some potential names before my first fight, and I think Don Curry was also “The Cobra”, and Rob gave me that name. It’s got a good ring to it and that was it. There’s nothing fancy, like I had to battle an amphibious reptile or I survived a venomous attack. Rob gave me the name and I liked it.
Were you nervous when you were asking Floyd Mayweather that now-infamous question in
Las Vegas, regarding your rematch win over George Groves?
Dave Ashley, Facebook
No, I wasn’t nervous because it was all pre-scripted as a part of my dry sense of humour. I had already planned it. [Head of Sky Sports Boxing] Adam Smith told me I was going to get a chance to interview Floyd Mayweather and I thought, ‘I’m only going to get one question, what shall I ask him?’ I told Eddie Hearn before I did it, ‘Listen to what I’m going to ask Floyd Mayweather.’ When I asked him, he must have thought, ‘What the f*** have you asked me there?’ He wasn’t listening to me anyway, he knows who I am but he’s not bothered, he was about to fight in the biggest fight in the history of world boxing, he’s not interested in what I ask him, so I thought I might as well have a little tongue-in-cheek dig here. I enjoyed it and I’m still enjoying it. When I get my MBE off the Queen, I might ask her, does she know I knocked out George Groves in front of 80,000 fans at Wembley?
How many trees did you chop down while preparing for Groves the second time?
Eight. One for every round.
Would you mind if your son became a boxer?
Sam Crow, Facebook
I wouldn’t mind. I can’t say I’d have a problem with him boxing, because of what I’ve done with the sport, but I’ve been in boxing all my life, it’s given me so much. If he enjoys it and that’s what he wants to do, then I’m certainly not going to stop him from doing it. Would I mind though? I don’t think I’d enjoy watching him fight and go through what I’ve had to go through, because he’s my son and as a parent I want to protect my kids, so I wouldn’t want him to be in a situation where he’s getting punched in the head. I hope he takes up tennis or football or something like that.
What are the chances of a fight with Gennady Golovkin happening?
Fifty-fifty. It would be more but I’ve heard recently that he’s considering dropping down, and he also mentioned me potentially moving down to 164lbs, which just isn’t an option.
So, do you think you’ll fight again?
Matt Christie, Boxing News
Based on what’s happening and the length of time I’ve been out the ring, probably not. But I still do think I may fight again. The reason I’ve not retired and announced my retirement yet is because I think I may fight again. But the odds are that I’m probably going to retire, but there’s still no announcement because if I was going to retire I would have announced it by now. I was hoping to make an announcement after a meeting with Eddie Hearn and Rob McCracken, but I’ve not been able to get them in the same room, Rob is so busy. I’m just sitting back, enjoying my time with my kids, the boxing season is pretty much closing down now for a couple of months and I’m still training, I’m walking around at 178lbs, really strong, and feeling fit.
What was your most satisfying victory?
Stuart Reed, Facebook
It has to be the second Groves win, because I’ve never fought anyone who I wanted to beat so badly, due to the fact that he’s A, B, C, D, E, F and G, and I won’t say what they are. That was definitely the most satisfying, I’ve said that quite a lot.
What is your biggest achievement?
Having kids. In boxing, without blowing my own trumpet – which I’m probably entitled to do – I’ve won four world titles, but it’s difficult to say what my biggest achievement is in one answer. Winning the WBC title was, for me, a massive achievement at the time, and I never thought that could be topped, but actually winning the IBF title against Lucian Bute was fantastic because of his record going into the fight and the fact I was a massive underdog. But then to beat Mikkel Kessler in the rematch and become a four-time world champion, it goes on and on.
What do you say to people who accuse you of ducking James DeGale?
I’m glad you asked this because quite recently that Welsh p**** Joe Calzaghe has been saying a lot of nonsense. My mandatory was George Groves, and I wanted to fight Julio Cesar Chavez Jnr, and that was a fight I probably could have got, but Groves was there so much and he was mandatory, so I put Chavez on hold and I fought Groves. I fought Groves in the same scenario where Calzaghe didn’t fight me – he went on to fight Bernard Hopkins and Roy Jones Jnr [at light-heavyweight]. I didn’t do that, I fought Groves not once but twice, and after I beat him the second time I said I wanted to fight Chavez in Las Vegas, that’s not happened and guess what? I’ve not gone and fought anybody else, have I? So Calzaghe swerved me and fought somebody else twice, I’ve not swerved DeGale and boxed somebody else, I’ve not boxed DeGale because I’m not obliged to fight a mandatory and I was due a voluntary. It just so happens that I’ve not boxed since because the DeGale fight does nothing for me, it doesn’t get me motivated enough. What I say to people who say I’ve ducked DeGale is that I haven’t ducked him, I’ve not fought.
What is the hardest punch you’ve ever taken?
Pete Goodyear, Facebook
Glen Johnson hit me with a right hand late on, perforated my ear drum. I was sitting on the ropes, and he hit me with a flush right hand and it was a heavy, hard shot. The one I always go back to is probably Robin Reid. He hit me with a big overhand right and I thought it was going to miss by a mile, but he stepped in and made up some ground and it landed flush on my chin and I walked back to my corner and I didn’t know where I was, my legs were gone. That’s probably the one I’ll have to go with as the hardest punch I’ve ever taken.
You’ve sparred with Chris Eubank Jnr and fought George Groves, who would win if those two met and why?
Groves is quite a bit bigger than Eubank Jnr, who does get hit. If those two boxed at super-middleweight, I think it would be a decent fight. I think it’s a 50-50. A pre-“Cobra’d” Groves would have beaten Eubank Jnr, but I definitely think Groves is past his best now, I think he’s been damaged by the two beatings he took off me. I think, since he’s been “Cobra’d”, Eubank Jnr beats him.
Who was your toughest amateur opponent, both domestic and international?
Nick Bond, Boxing News
Domestic, John Pearce, Commonwealth gold medallist, very tough and strong, ABA champion at middleweight, I beat him on a majority decision. Great fighter, John Pearce. That was probably a tougher fight than Andrey Gogolev, the guy who beat me in the World championships semi-finals and went on to win gold, but Gogolev was the toughest international opponent.
Were your brother Lee’s actions a distraction leading up to the Groves
Ian Jayse, Facebook
Of course not, it was all part of the script. Everything was pre-meditated and orchestrated prior to the event. If I didn’t want Lee there because I thought he was going to be a hindrance or a problem, he would have stayed away but for the Groves rematch it was all part of the plan, Lee was a part of that.
Do you have any regrets in regard to your boxing career?
John Cruise, Facebook
That’s the fantastic thing about me and my career, I have absolutely no regrets at all because I’ve faced everybody. I faced my mandatories, I’ve fought everybody I wanted to fight and if I do retire, I’ll be retiring a very, very happy man with no regrets at all.
Do you laugh at British boxing fans who haven’t got a good word to say about you even though you’ve been the best fighter in the country over the last decade?
Stuart Fraser, Facebook
I do laugh because it gives me a nice sense of fulfilment. Unfortunately, human nature means people are jealous. Not always, some people are envious. I envy people, I want what they’ve got, I respect them and I think they’re brilliant but then you’ve ™ ™ got jealousy, and unfortunately human beings are naturally jealous people, you’ve only got to look at my little boy, who’s four, and my little girl, who’s two. They won’t share things, and I’m sure you and I were the same and said we don’t want to share, so people are selfish and jealous. People give me stick and they give me abuse, they’re just jealous of me, so it gives me a sense of fulfilment because they’re jealous of me for a reason, and that’s because I’m so successful and I’ve had such a great career and I’m so fortunate to be in the position I am in. I’ve worked hard for it, and I’ve boxed everybody who was put in front of me and the people who want to give me stick and try to abuse me, I just think to myself, ‘Brilliant.’ So I quite enjoy it, I quite enjoy the jealousy that comes from a minority of people, because I’ve got a lot of fans and overall, an overwhelming majority of people are happy and satisfied and full of praise and respect for my career, and I take a lot of joy from that, but I also smile at the people who give me stick because it comes from one thing – jealousy.
I envy people like Floyd Mayweather who are so good, and who get in the ring and don’t get touched and they earn a fortune. I can look at people like that and admire them and say, ‘You know what? I envy this kid. Look at what he’s got and what he’s done for the sport, look at the position he’s in.’ I put people like him on a pedestal. Roy Jones Jnr, in his day, not when he fought Calzaghe because he was well past it, but in his day, I looked at him and thought, ‘F*****g hell, I envy this geezer here. He’s so brilliant at what he does, he can go in the ring and not have to have a fight, not have to tough it out and he can get the result that he wants.’ I look at that and really do admire it. Mike Tyson as well, I used to watch him in awe. He’s my favourite fighter.
Do you prefer the Pearl Bar or Fire and Ice in Nottingham?
[Laughs] Got to be Fire and Ice. The Pearl Bar has got its advantages, but Fire and Ice is a little bit more chilled. The reason I like Fire and Ice so much is because on a Friday, DJ Fever is in the house.
What is your favourite TV show and why?
Eric Keane, Facebook
I really enjoy watching The Chase, the quiz show with Bradley Walsh. I watch that more than anything. Bulldog, back in the day. My favourite was Spartacus: Blood and Sand though. Andy Whitfield, the actor, he died before he was 40, he was in the first season.
Who is your favourite Nottingham Forest player of all time?
Jason Homer, Facebook
I was quite friendly with Des Walker, the defender, but I’d say Trevor Francis.
When you retire, how will you occupy your time?
Josie Wykes, Facebook
How would I get time off would be a better question, I’m that busy with residential properties, I’ve now gone into commercial and redevelopments. I’ve got land now, I’ve got four townhouses at the minute and I’m into building now, so I’m redeveloping buildings and I’m flipping commercial units, which I’m really enjoying. So I suppose real estate and properties will take up a lot of my time. I’m looking at maybe securing a job with Sky Sports, because I enjoy being a pundit, following my friends around, Anthony Joshua, Luke Campbell, Kell Brook, all these fighters that are coming through to be really top-level. I’m going to get to go and watch them fight, work for Sky and get paid for it, so that’s going to take up a bit of my time, but my properties are tying me down at the minute actually, so I’d like to free a bit of time up for my properties and on top of that, I’m going to be acting in my movie debut in the autumn in a film called Once Upon A Time in London, produced by my friend Terry Stone. I’ve got so much on, punditry, bit of acting, not taking myself too seriously, and my property portfolio is so big at the minute it really is becoming a full-time job, so I’m going to employ somebody, I need somebody in the office. I’m very, very busy and when I’m not busy with all these things, I’ve got two kids and another on the way, so I spend as much time as I can with my family. Outside of work and making money, it’s my kids that are my priority.
Who is going to be the next Carl Froch?
John Dennen, Boxing News
It depends what you’re looking for, the next Carl Froch will be somebody who takes on anyone and ends up being a pay-per-view star, a Sky Box Office fighter. There are a couple on the fringe of that in Kell Brook, Tony Bellew has already had a Sky Box Office fight with Nathan Cleverly, coming through you’ve got Luke Campbell, you’ve got to mention big Anthony Joshua, who could potentially be a superstar because he’s a heavyweight. Choosing one, I’d go with Joshua, because I was at a signing at Milton Keynes at the weekend, and the biggest queue was obviously mine, the second biggest queue was Anthony Joshua’s.