Boxing - Froch KOs Groves in blockbuster rematch

Carl Froch silenced the doubters with an eighth-round knockout of George Groves in their huge super-middleweight title rematch at Wembley Stadium.

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Boxing - Carl Froch vacates IBF super middleweight title
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Carl Froch after knocking out George Groves in their rematch at Wembley (Getty)

The two British boxers had many split as to who was ahead after the first seven rounds, but a jaw-rattling right from the champion in the eighth round ended any dispute over who was the deserving winner of their first fight in November.

Froch also won that one, albeit in controversial circumstances when the referee withdrew Groves rather hastily in the ninth.

Froch will now fight James DeGale in the next 120 days after 'Chunky' emphatically won his title eliminator in the chief support bout.

ROUND-BY-ROUND

R1: Tentative start before a rabid atmosphere, with both men using the jab and finding success. A far cry from the first bout’s opening three minutes. 10-9 Groves

R2: Froch is warned for hurling Groves to the canvas. Though he’s more of an aggressor in this round, he continues to be caught coming in by the challenger and Carl’s face has reddened. 20-18 Groves

R3: Roars as Froch lands hard on Groves in the first minute. Further exchanges are more even but the champion edges his first round of the fight. 29-28 Groves

R4: Though Froch traps his opponent on the ropes late on, Groves’ technique proves too much for him for much of the fourth and he takes more choice shots to the face. 39-37 Groves

R5: First big Cobra flurry of the fight after a minute of the fifth, though Groves soaks much of it onto his guard. The champ also finishes the round stronger. 48-47 Groves

R6: It looks as though Froch is slowly turning a cerebral bout into the battle he prefers. Groves has a small cut. 57-57 tie

R7: Groves rocks an increasingly-confident champion early in the seventh. Froch responds by putting Groves in danger on the ropes with 30 seconds left but ate more lands than the challenger overall. 67-66 Groves

R8: It’s over! Froch lines up Groves for a vicious right hand which drops the challenger hard. The referee waves it off while George lays hurt on the floor.

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WHAT THEY SAID

Carl Froch: “This is the biggest fight I’ve been involved with. I’ve been in the ring with some of the world’s best but let’s be honest, that bout was neck and neck. It only takes one punch sometimes in boxing and when you have a punch like mine it can make all the difference. Unfortunately for George he was on the receiving end of that but he can be proud of his performance.”

George Groves: “I’m fine now. That’s boxing though. I’ll hold my hands up: Carl caught me with a shot, but I’ll bounce back. I feel like I’ve let myself down somewhat but congratulations to Carl. I think I was ahead on the scorecards and maybe I can earn a third fight against him one day.”

TALKING POINT

The mark of a champion – Even a sport as open to interpretation as boxing hasn’t seen too many fights as split as that one. Fans and experts alike all differed over who had the upper hand over seven rounds and thus, both can be proud of their efforts on the big stage. However, Froch’s vicious right-hand finish was what separates great boxers from the world’s top 10 pound-for-pound.

WHERE TO FROM HERE?

Froch faces another Londoner next – Groves’ longtime nemesis James DeGale. DeGale looked classy in picking apart Brandon Gonzales but has spent years out of the spotlight and will need to be at his very best to even surprise ‘The Cobra’ as Groves did in their first clash.

Groves finds himself in a precarious predicament. The two Froch defeats have at least established him as a domestic name, but like Saul Alvarez when he was outclassed by Floyd Mayweather, needs to ensure his bounce-back is done perfectly.

FIGHT IN A TWEET

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