Tonight at the former home of Wembley Stadium, the national stadium of England, there is a fight going down in front of 80,000 fans at the new Wembley Stadium. The biggest fight in boxing history in the UK is here!
Super Middleweight IBF and regular WBA champion (not to be confused with Andre Ward’s legitimate world WBA strap) Carl ‘The Cobra’ Froch is set to once again take on his now fierce adversary ‘Saint’ George Groves, in a fight that can best be described as a grudge match. Plain and simple.
Carl Froch 32-2 (KO23) has been mandated by the IBF to give Groves the rematch that the Hammersmith man yearned for.
If I was Froch, I would be doing everything I could to avoid this fight. I don’t believe for one second that Carl Froch would have given George Groves the rematch unless his hand was forced.
Froch may say differently but I think deep down he didn’t want to hear the name George Groves ever again, never mind stepping through the ropes with the younger challenger for a second installment.
George Groves 19-1 (KO15) without question thoroughly deserves the return against Froch. For eight and a half rounds, the then twenty five year old Groves (now twenty six) gave the experienced and highly decorated pugilist Froch, an absolute pasting or a shellacking, as they say in the fight game.
Groves looked the champion and Froch the challenger. Froch looked like a little boy lost at sea with no life jacket, he had no answer for what Groves told him he would do from the very outset.
I don’t buy one shred of Carl Froch saying “I didn’t prepare for George Groves fully.” Froch is trained by Robert McCracken MBE, who is also the head trainer and coach for all young up and comers in the Great Britain Olympic boxing squad, so there is no way that McCracken would let Froch take things easy.
We all know how meticulous Froch is with his training diaries and trying to beat his personal records every time he goes into camp. Preparation is a poor excuse for someone who just got the better of you, I thought more of Carl Froch than that. I would have believed an injury tale more, maybe a jarred wrist or a pulled muscle or something similar in sparring would be more believable.
What can Froch and McCracken do to put things right in this return bout? Well, where do I start!?
George Groves came out and instantly took a firm hold of the centre of the ring and pushed Carl Froch into the little pocket between the centre of the ring and on the ropes. Froch cannot allow this to happen from the get go this time.
The Nottingham born slugger will be well served to come out from the first bell and put it on Groves immediately, just to make Groves think somewhat before the Londoner sets about his game plan. This in turn will put Groves on the back foot, which George is comfortable with at times, but the main thing with this tactic is that Froch will be at his best doing what he does very, very well and that is coming forward soaking up what you have and exchanging blows. This has usually seen Froch come out on top, unless your name is Andre ‘S.O.G’ Ward.
Froch basically started slow last time, got caught cold with a firm crack right down the pipe and it clearly bothered him. He felt the Groves’ power in that punch and it seemed that Carl Froch did not want to feel the power again.
Froch didn’t want to taste the Groves force alongside the fact that whatever Froch has done, he couldn’t get out of the way of that Groves right hand, his primary weapon. When Froch actually threw a shot, Groves was wary and rightfully so.
George Groves, for me has to come out and annihilate ‘The Cobra’ from the sound of the first bell. Froch will be aware of this possible plan of action from ‘The Saint’ but what can he do to remedy the imposing threat?
From the stagger Froch was doing when he got to his feet from the knockdown and the stumble he did getting to the corner for the count said a hell of a lot. If Groves had another thirty seconds in round one, I believe he would have knocked Carl Froch out. Saved by the bell is the phrase here.
If referee Howard Foster Jr. stopped the fight for seemingly not much in favor of Froch, then surely if Groves had landed one more flush right hand, Froch would either have been counted out or the ref would have deemed him not in a position to defend himself (which Froch was at the end of round one) and called the TKO.
If George Groves does go all out attack from the opening bell, it could well win him the fight, but again, on the flip side, it may well be his downfall.
If Groves attempts to finish Froch early doors and he is unsuccessful, you have to fear for ‘The Saint.’ He may well punch himself out, he may not. He could have success but he could also fire all he has and land all those shots on Froch and see ‘The Cobra’ still stood there in front of him. This will be disheartening for Groves.
I think Groves was a bit worn out from all the power punches he threw at Froch, but not completely gassed. Groves is a red head and he has the kind of skin that goes bright red, not only from shots landed but from his onslaught. This could well have played a part in Howard Foster Jr’s premature stoppage.
After seeing the weigh in, I have made my final prediction.
From the very outset of the rematch being made I have addressed what I see as the best way for Groves to win and that is via TKO. I think if Carl Froch gets knocked down I don’t think he will be counted out, he will have to be stopped on his feet. Carl Froch has a diorite chin, possibly the best beard in boxing.
I feel the only way Carl Froch can win is via a mid to late rounds stoppage. Groves is just too quick for Carl. I believe Groves is a better boxer than Froch in all departments, but we know how much of a true fighter Carl Froch turns into when his back is against the wall — A cornered, wounded animal is the most dangerous kind of animal.
I believe that George Groves will come out from the first bell and go for the knock-out. I predict it will come in the first round.
I also predict that the shot that stops Carl Froch will be the straight right after Froch has done the thing where he comes sideways on, then dips slightly and throws that big right hook haymaker. After the shot has been thrown, Froch stands square on and completely wide open. Froch was square on and unbalanced when Groves knocked him down in the first bout. If Groves can read the shot coming, all he has to do is duck under slightly to the right and counter it with a straight right hand, the Groves main weapon.
Failing the stoppage for Groves, if it does go to the cards, I see Groves winning by maybe two or three rounds that will be banked from early in the fight.
When you hear and feel the atmosphere inside Wembley Stadium, it will make your hairs stand on end, give you goose bumps and all that stuff. It will be more than electric, more than fever pitch and I for one can’t wait for the first bell to ring.