On May 31st, 2014, the highly anticipated grudge match between Carl Froch and George Groves finally unfolded in Wembley, London. Their first fight may have ended in controversial fashion last November, but the outcome of this evening’s bout couldn’t have been more definitive.
Froch vs Groves II: The Fight
The early rounds said a lot about the respect both fighters held for one another. Given the first round knockdown Froch suffered in their first fight, Froch was now understandably cautious. Surprisingly Groves was too, despite saying in the build up that he would take out Froch in the opening stages.
In reality, the 26-year-old felt a lot differently, and was clearly wary of the firepower he knew all too well from their first encounter. Though Froch exercised a decent jab, it was Groves who was the superior boxer during these rounds, commanding the center of the ring and scoring with counters when Froch launched an attack on the ropes.
In the middle rounds, Froch decided to break the pace and take charge. He was getting comfortable. Though still patient and disciplined, the granite-chinned warrior started to throw caution to the wind more frequently as he started to pressure Groves with vicious combinations. The fight had become very close, with perhaps Groves still edging it on the scorecards.
Then came the 8th round, which saw Froch land a sensational monster of a right-hand – a single shot that dropped Groves straight to the canvas. The brutal punch was expertly timed by Froch, who may have been patiently waiting for that opening for some time. After Groves returned to his feet, it was then that the referee waived off the fight.
At first glance – where the fight’s end came about so quickly – it almost seemed like another premature stoppage had taken place. But when the replay revealed the sickening shot, the way Grove’s head nearly parted from his shoulders, and the glazed look in his eyes as he tried to remain standing, it instantly became clear the referee had made the right decision.
Even with the clock at 2:43 of the round, the referee had still done the right thing; one can only imagine what kind of damage Carl Froch could do to a defenseless opponent in 17 seconds. And that’s not something anyone needs to see. At the point of the stoppage, the scorecards were tallied at 68-65, 66-67, 66-67.
So there it was. Froch vs Groves II was now over.
The unquestionable victory finally cleared the air, which made the huge headlining event all the better and memorable. This was a proud night for British boxing, and great night overall for the sport of boxing. (watch the Froch vs Groves II brutal knockout)
Following the emphatic win, Froch of course retains IBF title, his status as the UK’s number one Super Middleweight, and keeps him rubbing shoulders with the likes of Andre Ward at world level. After watching this, one wonders whether 36-year-old Carl Froch has now surpassed – or at least equalized – the achievements of Welsh neighbor, Joe Calzaghe?
Froch should now receive the credit he deserves and start finding himself on Pound 4 Pound lists. No question. He will now return home satisfied from silencing his doubters, adding a tremendous knockout to his legacy, and knowing he can finally free his mind of George Groves.
As for Groves, it’s going to be a very long trip home. Both bouts with Froch may have earned him some serious cash and ‘made him’, but he now has make sure they don’t ‘break him’. To do that, he will have to carefully go about rebuilding his career. Given his talent, it would certainly be a terrible shame to see him fade him out from the sport.
Froch leaves the ring with a new record consisting of 33 wins, 2 losses, with 24 knockouts, while a dejected Groves leaves with 19 wins, 2 losses, with 15 knockouts.
Froch vs Groves II: Undercard
The night’s main event was also supported by a number of absorbing bouts, courtesy of some of Britain’s finest fighters. Seasoned Kevin Mitchell (38-2, 28 KO) won his Lightweight contest against then unbeaten Ghislain Maduma (16-1, 10 KO) by TKO at the tail-end of round 11. Not only was it a make-or-break fight for Mitchell, he was also behind on points at the time of the stoppage. Mitchell’s patience paid off and earned him the career invigorating victory.
Also featured was Olympic Medalist James DeGale, who had lost a razor’s edge Majority Decision to George Groves back in 2011. The London fighter known as ‘Chunky’ dispatched of a quality operator that evening, taking out Brandon Gonzales (18-1-1, 10 KO) to win the IBF Super Middleweight title eliminator. DeGale (19-1, 13 KO) dominated en route to a 4th round TKO that would have sent tremors through the division.
What did you think of Froch vs Groves II? Was this one of Froch’s finest performances to date? Was Groves always destined to be overpowered? Or could he have avoided the concussive blow?
The BoxingBase.com writing staff provide worldwide boxing news, coverage and analysis – they can be contacted via email and social media.