The fight that led to the rematch with THAT crowd
The common feeling in the boxing world when Carl Froch v George Groves was first made was that it was to early for young Groves who was 19-0 going in to face a champion as seasoned and hard as Carl who had a fantastic run plus had just avenged one of his 2 career defeats to great Dane Mikel Kessler. However, during the build up to Froch v Groves 1 something happened. People were starting to wonder if the young upstart could actually pull this off.
At every turn George would antagonize Carl even questioning his achievements in the sport Carl was rattled, non more so that on the Halloween Sky Sports ringside show where they shared a studio. Leaving Froch bemused massively, the scene was now set for a barnstorming fight and boy, did it deliver.
During fight week Groves chose to tell Froch his gameplan would be going in , "Carl I'm gonna meet you in the middle of the ring " surely he would not do against an accomplished world champion, however Groves continued, "im gonna win the jab exchanges and hit you with 2 right hands , just 2 to let you know I can hit you whenever I like"
Surely a bluff behind one hell of a poker face.
As the first bell rang after being booed into the ring seemingly not a friend in the building Groves raced to the centre ring immediately letting a sharp jab go, twitching, feinting making Froch react then slamming a hard jab into his face exactly as promised . Towards the end of the round Groves backed Carl up to the ropes with a double jab which Carl with his back against the ropes fell for. George's feint rushing off the ropes throwing a wild one two sqauring up his feet in the process to be met with a perfectly timed chopping right hand bang on the button. Famous for being granite like, the rock jawed champion was on the canvas eyes glazed this was no flash knockdown he was in big trouble.
There was more of the same during the next few rounds, much more.
Carl couldn't seem to get a foothold in the fight brave as a lion though he never stopped coming trying to make a break through but it just didnt seem to be happening. George was boxing superbly, his prediction of knocking Froch out looking a distinct possibility. Then in the 6th round something happened. Ironically it was Groves best round yet hitting Froch at will with monstrous right hands and heavy accurate jabs during one exchange where Groves landed 6 huge right hands. Froch had the last word in the exchange astonishing considering the shots he had just taken.
The 7th and 8th rounds were nip and tuck George surely comfortably ahead on the cards was cruising until the 9th when he took a heavy looking right hand which seemed to stun him back up into the ropes. Sniffing blood, the champion Froch followed with an onslaught (which Groves argued were shots that missed in the main). Groves attempted to counter a few times but didnt really land either as Froch dipped right seemingly to try to get to centre ring. Unaware, Groves almost ran into Howard Fosters arms who waved the fight off. The challenger was seething, the fans he'd won over were up in arms - surely Groves was ok to continue?
What a fight we had just witnessed, a questionable stoppage, a warrior tested and pantomime villain winning over an army of fans. There was only one way to settle this.
Rematch anyone? How many does Wembley hold?