The fight lived up to the billing. Carl Froch-George Groves gave boxing fans around the globe a very entertaining 8 rounds and change. From the onset in front of a packed house in Manchester, England, the atmosphere was set. As both men entered the ring and the British national anthem was played, George Groves looked like a guy who wasn’t afraid of the big stage.
As soon as the 1st bell rang, he proved it. Utilizing his long jab, he frustrated the big favorite Carl Froch. Then it happened, a big right hand that sent Froch to the canvas for the second time in his career. Except this time, Froch was clearly hurt and looked to be on his way out but was saved by the bell.
The second round was much of the same as Groves speed was making Carl Froch look old overnight as most would say. Froch’s beard was never in question and he proved it throughout this fight. There were times in the fight where I was telling myself, ‘How is this guy still standing here?’
Froch in the early going was having his moments but it looked to be an easy fight for Groves. In round 3 Froch had Groves hurt but was broken up by the ref because of rough house tactics from Froch, it seemed like an opportunity missed. Groves continued catching Froch with right hands and it seemingly looked like it was in the cards that Groves would be a world champion.
However, in the second half of the fight, round 8 to be precise, it looked like Groves was on his last legs and Froch picked up the pressure, mauling Groves and trading on the inside with Groves getting the better of Groves. Coming out in round 9, the tide had turned in Froch’s favor. Froch had hurt Groves with clubbing hooks and it had Groves on the retreat. Froch kept the pressure on and referee Howard Foster stepped in and stopped the fight, a premature stoppage in many eyes watching.
This is why we hate and love boxing. On one hand, you could make an easy argument that Froch was also buzzed just as bad in the first round after getting up from the canvas from the knockdown. Why not stop it then?
Then there’s Groves. He proved his worth and on my card was up pretty handily at 78-73. He deserved better, plain and simple. He had earned the right for at least 15-20 more seconds by his performance in the earlier rounds beating a world class fighter in Froch and showing that he was world class. I don’t think you’ll find anyone who disagrees, it was a terrible stoppage.
Then there’s the judges scorecard. One judge had it 78-73 Groves and the other two had 76-75 Groves. Do the math? Without the knockdown for Groves, those two judges would have likely given the nod to Froch who might have stopped Groves regardless.
This is boxing. The two judges that scored this fight even minus a knockdown should not be judging world title fights in a while.
When asked about the stoppage, Froch agreed. Why would he disagree? He won a fight that he might have lost had the ref allowed the fight to continue. Now I wouldn’t have cared about it so much until he went on a long rant as to why it was a good stoppage and George Groves is still disrespectful. In retrospect, Groves came out looking better even in defeat and after Froch’s rant went about 78 minutes. Groves was booed when he came out during the ring walk and cheered upon his exit and it was vice versa for Froch.
Carl Froch is still a bad man in the ring and when asked about a rematch, Froch seemed like he wanted it and if we know about Carl Froch, he’ll fight anyone anywhere, and he’s proven it already. Groves leaves the ring as a world class super-middleweight in defeat and another name that we may see on our American television sets.
The rematch should happen because there were questions left unanswered; Groves’ stamina to be one and how much Froch may have left in the tank. If they do rematch, it may be an entirely different fight, who knows? But what we do know we were robbed today. We were robbed of seeing if and how Groves would come back. We were robbed of possibly seeing Carl Froch come all the way back and stop the young challenger. We were robbed, a great fight with a terrible ending.