Carl Froch and George Groves lit the blue touch paper ahead of their World title battle on Saturday night at the Phones 4u Arena in Manchester live on Sky Sports Box Office.
Froch defends his WBA and IBF belts against Groves, and their simmering war of words boiled over in Manchester as they came face-to-face for the first time since their infamous appearance on Sky Sports’ boxing magazine show Ringside, and neither fighter held back in a tense conference followed by a lengthy head-to-head for the cameras.
The pair will meet for the last time before fight night at tomorrow’s weigh-in at Manchester Central (formerly the GMEX) which promises to be filled with yet more tension. The public are invited in on a first come, first served basis from 12.30pm, with the undercard set to weigh-in from 1.30pm before Froch and Groves hit the scales for the fight around 2pm as the moment they settle the score in the ring draws ever closer.
“Up until now, I thought he actually believed in his own stupidity, his own childish remarks and he sort of had a game plan,” said Froch. “He’s revealed himself today as being a very worried man and I think the big fight is dawning on him now, it’s getting closer and closer.
“He cannot mix it with me at this level, it’s impossible. He might have two or three rounds keeping out of the way, jabbing and moving to make it look like a fight,
“But he knows once we start exchanging leather up close and this fight becomes a fight, he’s out of his depth and is in serious trouble. I could see that today in his eyes, I could see it in his body language.
“So I’m coming away from this press conference feeling very, very, even more confident than what I was to start with and looking forward even more to giving George Groves a pasting on Saturday night because that’s what I do; give people like him a pasting for their cheek.”
“I thought it was very strange really, because it was quite precise step-by-step diagnostic of what he was going to do. Come out behind the jab and he’s going to land a double right hand, then he’s going to go into round two and get behind his jab and then he’s going to take me on in the centre of the ring.
“It was just ridiculous really to be honest. You can’t put that sort of detailed explanation of a fight tactics from round one to round three because you don’t know what your opponent is going to do.
“I’m hoping that one of his tactics that he has talked about, to take me on and stand in the middle of the ring and have a fight with me, he stands by and does have a fight with me because that’s exactly what I want.
“Looking away doesn’t mean anything, and I’m not being funny but he’s got halitosis and it’s a condition that’s not nice to be stood in front of. That’s the reason why I was looking away because I could only bear it for so long.
“I can’t wait to flatten George Groves. And when I’ve done it, I will still tell him what I think of him. I’m not going to shake his hand, give him a kiss and a hug, say don’t worry you’ll come back and do something in the future when I retire because I don’t like the guy. I’m going to show you on Saturday night how much I don’t like the guy.”
Groves said that he was going to reveal his plan to beat Froch and he did exactly that, and the challenger from London said he will stick to that plan on Saturday night.
“It’s because throughout the whole build-up to this fight I have told Carl Froch what I believe is the truth and he hasn’t chosen to believe it,” said Groves. “I figured I’m going to spell it out for you at the press conference.
“I’m going to get in there, I’m going to do this in the first round, do that in the second round and I’m going to knock you back onto your back foot, drive you back in the third round.
“The warrior that is Carl Froch is going to get pushed back and he’s got 48 hours to adjust to it and then when we get in the ring he’s got three rounds to understand it. After three rounds then either I’m right or he’s right and if I’m right he’s out of his depth and that’s when the fun begins.”
Froch and Groves lead a great line-up of action in Manchester on Saturday night.
Scott Quigg defends his WBA Super Bantamweight title against Diego Silva and his gym-mate and resurgent Lightweight star Anthony Crolla defends his WBO Inter-Continental Lightweight title against Stephen Foster Jr. on a busy night for trainer Joe Gallagher, who also has Super Featherweight star Stephen Smith tackling Sergio Manuel Medina for the WBC Silver International title and unbeaten Lightweight talent Scotty Cardle on the bill.
Rocky Fielding defends his Commonwealth Super Middleweight title against Luke Blackledge while Middleweight star Andy Lee grabs a late spot on the bill.
Former IBF World Bantamweight champion Jamie McDonnell fights in an eight round bout, Olympic Gold medal hero Luke Campbell MBE tackles his fourth pro contest, while unbeaten Super Flyweight Kal Yafai continues his comeback from injury.