Sunday, 24 November 2013

Froch vs Groves recap: All the action as Carl Froch beats George Groves in hugely controversial circumstances

A classic super-middleweight title fight ends in controversy when the referee stops George Groves in the ninth. Relive all the action here

A classic super-middleweight title fight ends in controversy when the referee stops George Groves in the ninth. Relive all the action here

12:04 am
Fight of the year? Quite possibly.
That one had it all - from Froch being floored in the first round to a controversial stoppage that has got everyone up in arms and made a rematch a near certainty.
For those who weren't watching tonight, you should go seek this one out next week.
Time for me to call it a night, but if you need yet more sport tonight, then let me point you in the way of our Ashes blog that will be going through the night (or at least for as long England stay in). 
Until next time, sports fans.
11:43 pm
Ah, here we go:
"Maybe we need a rematch," says Froch and just like that Eddie Hearn jumps into shot and talks it up.
Saint George is up for it too. And now he's holding back the tears as he thanks his trainer.
Now we've had everything tonight.
"I'll be back, better, stronger," he promises.
It's all getting a bit emotional out there now.
11:39 pm
Carl Froch is being interviewed and he thinks the referee did the right thing. "An educated decision from the referee," he said. But he would say that, wouldn't he? Boos ring out throughout the arena.
Now George Groves is on the mic and he's completely won over the crowd.
The pair are still at it though, verbally squabbling, as Froch calls his defeated opponent "childish and rude" in the build up to the fight.
And he's still talking, digging himself a massive hole. This is almost as entertaining as the fight itself. Stop talking, Carl!
11:33 pm
What. A. Fight.
The headlines will all be about the Howard Foster's decision to end it when he did (and who knows perhaps Froch would have wrapped up the win), but it shouldn't distract from the eight-and-a-half rounds that we saw before.
11:29 pm
That's incredible. Froch had Groves on the ropes, but he hadn't floored his opponent and the referee Howard Foster was very quick to stop the fight and the crowd are letting him know it.
Groves is gutted - he fought a sensational fight and didn't deserve for it to end like that.
Carl Froch has got away with that tonight - he was outfought, but what he did do was show the heart of a champion - he hung in there and took his chance.
More boos and chants about the referee's pastimes here in Manchester and this one will be talked about for a long time.
11:25 pm
Round Nine - Groves is stopped! Froch wins!
That is remarkable.
Froch is on the ropes at the start as Groves lands a number of punches, but he just can't get floor him.
But then Froch lands a couple of good hits and Groves is on the ropes - his legs go and Froch scents blood and goes for the kill. He's pounding into the challenger and THE REFEREE STOPS THE FIGHT!
Carl Froch is victorious!
11:21 pm
Round Eight
Carl Froch steps things up at the start of the eighth - he knows he needs to pull something out of the bag.
He lands with a big right-hander and bundles Groves onto the ropes, looking to bully him. The referee is forced to act, giving the champions a ticking off for slipping in a forearm and Groves needs the time to regain his composure.
Froch then loses a point after landing three punches after the referee calls for a break - he's getting desperate.
Groves ends the round strongly - it almost went wrong for him there, as Froch finally began to play to his strengths.
11:17 pm
Round Seven
Groves is still on top - and there's no moments of madness in round seven.
How much longer can Froch take this punishment? Or can he find something else in his locker?
'Oh when the Saint goes marching in' starts to ring round the crowd - they're getting onside now. Very Rocky IV.
11:12 pm
Round Six
Has Groves got into Froch's head? He's not been showing him any respect over the last few weeks and Froch has been shocked by the start to this fight.
Groves then lands a number of huge blows in the middle of the round - he's scarily accurate tonight.
Oh my - Groves has dropped his gloves and told Froch to have a go - incredible scenes. He takes all that Froch has to give him, but why's he risking this fantastic start?
Another fantastic round of boxing, and it's hard to give any of the rounds to Froch at the mid-point.
11:07 pm
Round five
Good work from Froch at the start of the fifth, as he gets Groves on the ropes, but Groves has the strength to force him away.
The title-holder is trying to impose himself on the fight, but everytime he looks as though he's getting any rhythm Groves comes roaring back. Froch's bully tactics just aren't cutting it here.
The bell goes and Froch is also bleeding from his scalp.
11:04 pm
Round Four
Has Froch survived the early storm?
He showed signs of life in the third, but Groves again hits him with a double jab at the start of the next round.
Groves is using that move superbly tonight, lightening fast and with pin-point accuracy.
And then Groves lands another super-quick right, as Froch doesn't have in his legs to get out the way.
Another round for Groves there.
Will Froch's age and experience count for or against him the longer the fight goes on? I'm tempted to say the latter.
11:00 pm
Round Three
Forch shows some more intent at the start of the third, trying to use the bodyshot to slow down his livewire opponent.
Worryingly for the title holder he's bleeding from his left eye and winches when Groves lands a double jab.
But them the momentum shifts to Froch - two devastating body blows put Groves on the back foot, but the 25-year-old finds it within himself to move off the ropes and back into his opponents face.
A gripping third round, as Froch's corner goes straight to look at his bleeding eye when the bell sounds.
10:56 pm
Round Two
Froch looks to be in real trouble in these early stages.
Groves is using his speed to real affect, landing yet more dangerous jabs with his right hand. He's started like a freight train and Froch looks like he's content to just get through the second round and regroup.
Froch looks tentative out there and needs to find an answer for Groves jab or this one could be over soon.
He survives the round and welcomes the break with open arms.
10:52 pm
Round One - Groves floors Frock!
Groves goes to the jab early - no surprise there.
Froch is looking very relaxed out there and makes a few early moves, that his opponent is able to avoid and land a couple of counters in the process.
The challenger then lands a decent right.
What a punch from Groves!
Froch is on the floor! Groves lands a fantastic combination, with a right hand landing right on the jaw of Froch and he's down.
The end of the round can't come soon enough for the Notts-man, who staggers back to his corner.
Is the upset on?

10:48 pm
The atmosphere's really got going in there now - and there's no doubt who the crowd are supporting tonight, as to a man they appear to be mad for Froch.
Announcer John McDonald is going through the formalities - we've got 12 rounds and the WBA and IBF super-middleweight titles are up for grabs, lest we forget.
More boos for Groves before the Cobra's fans bring the house down.
Ding ding!
We're off!
10:42 pm
National anthem time. On your feet everyone.
10:41 pm
And now after Groves' low-key entrance - no massive entourage there - it's time for Carl Froch to come out.
"I'm ready for you. I just hope you're ready for me," says his over-produced scene-setter video.
And on he comes to the familiar tones of (What's the Story) Morning Glory? by Oasis.
Oasis of Manchester, that is - smart move Mr Froch, getting the locals on side.
Mr Barton approves...
10:36 pm
The house lights in the Manchester Arena are down and here comes Grove.
"This is my time," he says on a video being played the big screens. All very moody stuff.
A fair few boos ring out, but he doesn't look like he cares to be honest - he loves the underdog routine.
10:33 pm
I've just had a quick scout round Twitter and Froch in nine seems the consensus choice for those having a gamble.
It's often Froch's style to grow into a fight, so will Groves go for the early knock-out?
The contender has been telling the media that he has a plan, saying he will "come out and meet him in the middle."
Who's your money on?
10:24 pm
We've just been treated to a cracking ringside interview with Prince Naseem Hamed.
Amid a few boos in the crowd - perhaps the Manchester crowd are reminding him of his Yorkshire roots - he's proved he can still talk the talk.
The former featherweight champion looks like he's, er, continuing to live well and didn't hold back on his prediction for the fight.
"If George Groves goes over three or four rounds, I'll be very surprised," he said.
So he thinks Carl Froch will be victorious tonight?
"One hundred and fifty MILLION per cent."
And with that he's taken the 'give 110 per cent' cliche to dangerous new heights.
10:18 pm
And here's George Grove's details:
  • Name: George Groves
  • Titles: None
  • Age: 25
  • Nickname: The Saint
  • Fights: 19
  • Wins: 19 (15 by KO)
  • Defeats: 0
  • Draws: 0
  • Nationality: British
  • Birthplace: Hammersmith
  • Stance: Orthodox
  • Turned pro: 2008
  • Last defeat: n/a
  • Height: 5ft 12in
  • Weight: 11st 12lbs
  • Reach: 72ins
George Groves (R) in action with Glen Johnson
The contender: George Groves
10:14 pm
Tale of the tape - Carl Froch
With about 30 minutes until the pair touch gloves, here's the title holder's vital statistics:
  • Name:Carl Froch
  • Titles: WBA, IBF super-middleweight
  • Age 36
  • Nickname: The Cobra
  • Fights: 33
  • Wins: 31 (22 by KO)
  • Defeats: 2
  • Draws: 0
  • Nationality: British
  • Birthplace: Nottingham
  • Stance: Orthodox
  • Turned pro: 2002
  • Last defeat: 2011
  • Height: 6ft 1in
  • Weight: 11st 13lbs
  • Reach: 75ins
Carl Froch celebrates after victory
Thr champion: Carl Froch
10:07 pm
The two fighters should begin their ringwalk in about 25 minutes. That should give time for the atmosphere in Manchester to crank up a bit more - the crowd didn't appear to be at their most vocal during the Scott Quigg fight.
Plenty of time for Sky Box Office to crank up the tension though. They're currently ringside speaking to Robin Reid - he's saying Froch in nine.
Mirror Sport man David Anderson is at the Manchester Arena and he was impressed by Quigg's demolition job of Diego Silva.
9:57 pm
What else have we had on tonight's undercard, I hear you ask?
Before Scott Quigg's blitzkrieg, we saw Irish middleweight Andy Lee also complete his night's work in less than two rounds, as he outclassed Hungarian southpaw Ferenc Hafner and Anthony Crolla beat Stephen Foster Jnr in six rounds.
One of Team GB's Olympic heroes was in the ring before that, as gold medalist Luke Campbell continued his professional career with a four-round defeat of Chuck Jones. Welshman Jones was durable, but not in the same league of the Hull-born fighter.
Not long now until the main event.
9:51 pm
The big fight on tonight's undercard is Scott Quigg defending his WBA super-bantamweight title against Diego Silva - well, I say is, I mean was - Quigg has knocked the Argentine out in the second round.
Quite a performance from the 25-year-old Brit, who floored his opponent twice - he wasn't messing around tonight.
"I wanted to come out and make a statement," he's just told the Sky Box Office cameras. He's certainly done that.
Next up - it's the big one.
9:38 pm
The build-up to this super-middleweight bout has been full of the usual verbal jousting between the pair, whose relations have rapidly deteriorated over the last week, especially after Carl Froch took his younger opponent to task during their last press conference.
“If this doesn’t get stopped early, then this could be the end of George Groves, at 26,” the 36-year-old warned earlier this week.
Froch is the bookmakers' overwhelming favourite for the fight, but challenger Goves says he is relishing his role as the underdog.
"I always like being the underdog. I like people writing me off and I love it when they come up to me afterwards and tell me they thought I was going to get knocked out in a round and it didn't happen," said the London-born fighter.
9:38 pm
Good evening fight fans and welcome to our live coverage of Carl Froch and George Groves' super-middleweight title bout.
Froch's WBA and IBF super-middleweight titles are up for grabs tonight in one of the biggest fights of the year for British boxing fans.
The atmosphere at a packed out Manchester Arena has been brewing up nicely in anticipation of this evening's main event which will be getting underway shortly.
Can Carl "The Cobra" Froch see off the young pretender or will George "The Saint" Groves score the biggest win of his career to date?
We'll have all the action for you right here, so stay tuned.
Carl Froch and George Groves go head to head to promote their upcoming fight
Ding ding: It's time for the talking to stop...

source. Mirror UK

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