Carl Froch rarely looks special, but he certainly has been over his career, and that continued today at Wembley Stadium, as Froch knocked out George Groves with a blistering right hand late in round eight, doing as he promised and ending the “saga” between he and his younger rival.
Froch (33-2, 24 KO) came out of the gates a bit slow, as he seemed concerned about the speed of Groves (19-2, 15 KO), which got the veteran champion into trouble early last November. But Groves, too, was more tentative than normal, as he seemed to aim to reserve some stamina for later in the fight, when Froch would, as he did, inevitably make his charge.
Groves ticked off the first four rounds on our scorecard (and that of HBO’s Steve Weisfeld), but while he was able to pretty soundly outbox Froch in the early stages, there was always the sense that Froch could start bulling his way into it and making things uncomfortable for Groves.
That’s exactly what the 36-year-old star did, and once the fight started looking more brawl-like in spurts, one could sense the clock ticking on George Groves. While Froch was comfortable letting it fly and trusting his chin and iron will, Groves seemed less so, and as it turned out, he was right to not want that sort of fight.
The right hand that put Groves down and out seemed to come from nowhere, a whale of a shot that dropped the 26-year-old challenger, bending his knee at an awkward angle. American referee Charlie Fitch made the decision to not even count, stopping the fight immediately, which Groves protested. But I liken that to when Vic Darchinyan protested after his 2007 knockout loss to Nonito Donaire. Yeah, he was up and talking, but he was also wobbling all over the place and who knows if he was even making sense?
For me, no controversy this time. None at all. Carl Froch put a stamp on his feud with George Groves, and proved he’s without question still the UK’s top fighter, and with Andre Ward once again sidelined, Froch remains the de facto top super middleweight in the sport.