Carl Froch and George Groves have differing accounts of that world super-middleweight title fight in Manchester on November 23rd. Groves describes Froch’s victory as a ‘stonewall robbery’, whereas the Nottingham born fighter maintains that in the last few rounds, particularly the ninth, Groves was ‘spent’ and backed the controversial decision of referee Howard Foster to end the contest. The 26 year old boxer from Hammersmith now once again has the opportunity to be triumphant over the current world champion, in a match that has been described as ‘the battle of Britain’ by promoter Eddie Hearn.
Though Groves initially received a particularly lukewarm reception, from both boxing fans and the media alike in the build up to the fight in Manchester, he was heavily applauded at the end. The decision made by Foster was greeted with jeers from the crowd and heavy criticism from current and former professional boxers. ‘Trash Talk’ has become a natural part of the run in to such big fights, yet there was a strong feeling that the younger boxer was being stupidly naïve in not showing Froch enough respect. The experienced Froch showed no signs of concern regarding the threats made by the challenger, yet crucially Groves proved on the night that he ought to have been taken more seriously.
Groves’ defiant motto of ‘everything for a reason’ was evident on November 23rd. He backed up what he said, and though criticised for the amount of ‘talking’ he did, he was straight to the point with his fighting. Froch took a heavy beating from Groves up until round seven where he began to regain more control over the match. The younger challenger indicated that he would start quickly and brutally, and that the elder boxer would struggle to prevent him from doing so. Froch, known for taking a punch well and being the far more experienced contender, simply stated that he would ‘flatten’ Groves. No such luck, as before Froch caught the Londoner with a barrage of heavy punches in the ninth round, he was lagging dramatically behind in points.
And now a rematch has finally been granted by the International Boxing Federation. The spectacle worth £20 million, will take place at Wembley Stadium on May 31st. Yet it is Froch who is now resorting to labelling Groves ‘idiot boy’, at the same time confessing that he was not ‘mentally at the races’ for the previous encounter. The Nottingham fighter is a champion in his own right and is not to be disregarded, yet Groves has proven his dynamism and ability to get inside his opponent’s head. From the previous fight it is clear the younger of the two middleweights has the upper hand going into the grand finale in May.
Furthermore, recent press conferences such as the photo session at Wembley, have showed a seemingly irritated and perhaps, one may suggest, downbeat world champion who has never wanted to take this challenge on. His ‘shove’ on Groves, who he refuses to do a face off with, is shown below:
Either way, it is set to be an engrossing contest, and could very well be the encounter that signals the end of Froch’s career and the glorious beginning of Groves’.