In their first bout for the WBA and IBF Super Middleweight titles, Carl Froch defeated George Groves after a controversial stoppage ended the fight in Froch’s favour. Groves demanded and was granted a rematch and in an evenly contested seven rounds during the second encounter at Wembley Stadium, predicting the eventual winner would have proved difficult. Then, a powerful right hand punch from Froch near the end of the eighth round sent Groves sprawling to the canvas, thus ending the fight and the long running arguments as to who is the better fighter.
Carl Froch followed unbeaten British fighter Joe Calzaghe as multiple World Super Middleweight champion but the two never fought in the ring and perhaps Froch has lived in the shadow of his illustrious predecessor. Despite currently holding the WBA and IBF versions of the World title, two defeats by Mikkel Kessler and Andre Ward remain as blemishes on the boxing career of the Nottingham born boxer and possibly account for the fact that he hasn’t earned the same recognition as Galzaghe.
Froch has since avenged his defeat by Kessler, but when the IBF organisation installed the unbeaten George Groves as the mandatory challenger to the current champion, it was an opportunity for both Froch and Groves to prove their worth in an all British fight.
A technical knockout ended the first contest in November when Groves appeared to be ahead on points. Trying to exchange punches with Froch proved to be the undoing of Groves after imposing a better boxing style on his opponent, with the referee ended the fight in the ninth round much to the challenger’s disgust.
On Saturday evening at Wembley, Groves vowed to repeat his boxing performance from the first bout and not become involved in a punching brawl with Froch. After seven cagey rounds, it was difficult to separate the pair yet the challenger was looking increasing confident as the rounds progressed but without really troubling the champion.
When Groves temporarily dropped his left guard in the eighth round, Froch needed no further invitation to launch a fight-ending right punch with the referee not even resorting to issuing a count.
Carl Froch claimed it was the best punch of his 35 fight career and it has probably now earned him the serious recognition which he has craved ever since assuming the Super Middleweight mantle from Calzaghe. He has always been a powerful hitter with a refusal to yield to his opponent but such a demonstration of his strength can only enhance his reputation and drawing power for the promoters.
The only problem for Froch is in determining his next opponent and while he may not be too far away from retirement, this spectacular knockout performance may have secured a payday within the more lucrative American market .