FOUR-time world super-middleweight champion Carl Froch announced his retirement from boxing earlier today, but only made the decision yesterday.

The 38-year-old has not fought since he stopped rival George Groves at Wembley Stadium in front of 80,000 people in May 2014.

He had been pondering his future ever since and while it seemed his preference was leaning toward retirement, Froch revealed exclusively to Boxing News that he did not know for sure until yesterday.

“I sort of subconsciously knew that the writing’s on the wall but I probably didn’t definitely know until yesterday,” he said.

“I had a conversation with Rob McCracken [his trainer] yesterday and that was the first deep conversation I’ve had with Rob in a long time and coming off the phone with him I thought, ‘Right, that’s it. I’m going through with it, it’s time.’

“I spoke to Eddie Hearn [his promoter], I spoke to Rob McCracken, I spoke to my whole family. It had been brewing for a while, the options and the opportunities I wanted weren’t presenting themselves and there was no real other way for me.

“I could box once or twice again, of course I could, but can I perform at top level against world class fighters after a year out the ring? I don’t know. I’d like to think so, but I don’t know. Do I actually want to? Is the desire there? Probably not. Maybe, maybe not but if it’s a maybe or a probably, then it obviously isn’t there.”

The Nottingham man was potentially going to meet unbeaten middleweight menace Gennady Golovkin, but did not want to drag out his career too long, while admitting he will always have a desire to fight.

“I’ve just got to be realistic with myself, I’m 38 years old and yes I’m physically capable of going on one more time or two more times but it stops [a career] when you have one too many fights, and I don’t want to be the man who has one too many,” he opined.

“There’s a lot to be happy about and celebrate but as a fighter, I’ll probably always want to fight again until the day I die, I’ll always want to have another boxing match.

“Heroes before me fought on far too long and I don’t want to be one of them. I’m getting out when I consider the timing to be right, I’m getting out on the top and on my own terms. It’s a fantastic position to be in.”

Reflecting on the waves of congratulations and adulation he’s received since making his announcement, he said: “It’s fantastic to be wanted and to be acknowledged, I’ve not just disappeared into the sunset and slipped off, I made an announcement because I owe it to the public and the boxing fans. I’ve not strung anybody along, it was yesterday when I actually decided that I’m definitely going to retire.”

Froch will now join Sky Sports as a boxing pundit, but looking ahead in the long term he cannot see himself as a trainer, like countless retired boxers before him.

“I’ve watched Rob McCracken for years, day in, day out with different fighters from the England squad and he’s been training me for god knows how many years. I’m not so sure I could do it,” he said.

“One, I haven’t got the time and two, I’ve been in gyms so long all my life, I don’t know if I want to keep being in the gym. I don’t want to be in the gym full time like Rob McCracken is so I don’t think I’ll be a trainer.”