Two noble men battle in the modern day coliseum of Wembley Stadium for historic supremacy. The reigning King Carl Froch from Nottingham earned his kingship at war, with the blood running through his body from a long line of warriors representing proudly out of the house of Froch.
Prince George of London is plotting his revenge after claims of robbery by way of referee, being the sole the reason for his demise. The pouting Prince was jeered and booed on his way into the ring last November and received a hero’s exit on the way out.
The winner of this tussle takes his place high up the historic ladder in the United Kingdom and will no doubt go down in history as a beloved King. If Groves wins he could be potentially Ricky Hatton big with what would be a bright future just now entering his prime at age 26. At best he could be a threat to Andre Ward. At the very least he would be a different face with real skill and athleticism to make a competitive fight with Ward.
Carl Froch’s storybook career up until this point makes him a top 10 pound for pound type fighter based off the names on his resume win, lose, or draw since enter the world ranks versus Jean Pascal in 2008. No one mortal can make a claim to have as tough as fighting schedule. Those wars no matter how much they taken out of the tank of Carl Froch, are the reason why many favor him heading into this grudge match.
After climbing near the top of the food chain at 168 in the Super Six Tourney, King Cobra earned a shot against the King of Kings, Andre Ward. To his credit despite being dominated by Ward, Froch got back on his warhorse and devoured Romanian Prince Lucian Bute.
The King of Great Britian could have basked in the sun enjoying the spoils of victory in the Kingdom of Nottingham. Instead of resting on his laurels, Froch wanted to right a wrong in a rematch with Mikkel “The Viking Warrior” Kessler. Froch came out a more efficient fighter on the offense end instead of being cute on the outside or trying too hard to land one big punch.
George Groves doesn’t have the same names on his ledger as Froch. However, on two separate occasions he went the full 12 rounds, the first being a hotly contested battle with domestic rival James Degale, who fights in the co-feature, the other against “The Road Warrior” Glen Johnson.
Many wonder if this encounter will be a duplicate of their first meeting, with George controlling the first six rounds, majority of round 7, a heated 8th that saw the fight become rougher with Froch closing the gap. Both men having success in the 9th until the last 30 seconds of the night when Carl managed to turn the tide for good.
We know Carl Froch is a slow starter and in this rematch he can afford to get down as far down on the cards after six rounds as he did their first meeting. He must apply pressure much earlier this time to make Groves uncomfortable.
We know George Groves is faster, possibly just as powerful, definitely a more fluid athletic-overall better fighter. We also know King Cobra has a heart the size of a grapefruit and a chin that must have been diped in iron once upon a time in Nottingham.
On offense they are similar in their ability and importance of a jab to set up their overhand or straight rights. That will be one of the main keys with both needing to land the same Sunday punch.
Speaking of right hands, Carl’s is choppy and slower than George Groves, who will need to adjust throughout the fight for his right-hand to keep finding a home, switching it up with roundhouses, straight or over the top, sweeping it around the gloved guard of Froch.
The energy in the crowd will be outrageous to say the least and one can make the argument that neither fighter will prepared for magnitude of this event. Will the veteran’s experience having gone 12 hard rounds at the top level be the difference in front of such a spectacle that will be 80,000 screaming to the high heavens inside Wembley Stadium?
George Groves went for the kill as he hurt Carl not only in the opening minutes but repeatedly in those first six rounds. One can’t fault the young Prince George for laying it all on the line and selling out for greatness. This go round instead of fading he will need to be more efficient with his activity level.
Groves will also need to use his technique and limit the amount of time he spends standing directly in front of a murderess puncher like The Cobra. If he smothers on the inside after being first the way he did at times in the first act, he won’t have to take as many big-time shots. Carl Froch has talked about not focusing 100% on the young and inexperienced George Groves, thus overlooking him especially on fight night and to a lesser extent during training camp. You could see his cockiness after Groves connected with flush shots early. He thought he would be able to catch and shoot but got dropped and hurt as badly as anytime of his career as a pro or amateur.
Let us not forget that George Groves had his own issues outside the ring promoter-wise and a new trainer who will now be entering their second camp together allowing them to be more adapted to each other styles.
George Groves should be able to look back at the first fight and conclude that if he has smarter game plan, using his overall ability rather than trying to please the crowd it will be very beneficial to his health and securing victory.
Carl Froch was hurt badly in round one, somehow managed to find his bearings, and have small doses of success. Although he got his legs back it didn’t stop Groves from clearly landed bigger shot over and over again until rounds 7 thru 9.
Will Carl be able to close distance by the third or fourth round and keep the pressure on Groves who most assume will come out smarter?
Just how bad was Froch hurt? Did he get hurt, recover and continue to get hurt by those accurate right hands? Or was he in such bad shape that he never recouped until later? Personally, I think the Froch was hurt badly, recovered rapidly, only to keep eating right hands.
Writers and broadcasters, and fans of the sweet science have voiced their opinion on the normal social media outlets and inside boxing forums with strong feelings toward King Cobra to keep his Kingship. A poll of boxing experts to my surprise had 19 out of 22 insiders favoring Carl Froch on RingTV.com by Lem Satterfield.
Although I believe the rematch will be a solid scrap filled with ebbs and flow throughout, I can’t help to think how easy Groves was able to connect. Of course Froch got his licks in despite being hurt and will need to make this a rough and tumble fight on the inside to negate the speed and accuracy of Groves.
Neither man is defensively sound. Both make the crucial mistake of dropping their hands, especially the left hand, which will make it another see-saw battle. Groves must be first majority of the time to keep Froch honest and off him. No doubt Froch will attempt to once again drown Groves in the deep waters of the championship rounds.
Carl impressed me with the focus he brought with him in the ring for the 2nd installment with Kessler. If he keeps the type of activity behind a stiff jab and his chin, the night will belong to the current King of the U.K.
The difference in a rematch with Kessler and Groves is simple. Kessler was on the last leg of his war tour and his sword was not as sharp from the time away spent licking his wounds and healing battle scars.
Will the Prince of London be snake bitten again by the old guard? Or will what some in the kingdom label him the pouting Prince, be crowned as the conquering King George of Great Britain?
This scribe will go against the grain a bit and assume Groves will be more prepared for a full battle with a game plan that keeps Froch guessing.
No matter the outcome let’s hope we get a clear victory this time without issue. With that in mind let’s also hope that the referee doesn’t over compensate resulting in long term damage.
My official prediction is George Groves by Split Decision.