• Carl Froch v George Groves

British Boxing Board support decision to end Froch fight

ESPN staff
November 24, 2013
Referee Howard Foster stepped in to stop the fight in round nine © PA Photos

Referee Howard Foster has been backed by the British Boxing Board of Control for his decision to stop Carl Froch's super-middleweight world title fight with George Groves.

Foster drew much criticism for stepping in to end the fight in the ninth round when Froch was inflicting punishment on Groves. Up until then, Groves led on all three scorecards and had put Froch down for only the second time in the champion's career during the first round.

The decision, which meant Froch retained his WBA and IBF belts, was met with a chorus of boos from the sell-out Manchester crowd, but the BBBoC has given Foster its full support, believing he made the correct call.

"Howard Foster had to make the decision in a split second, he made his call, and I back him," BBBoC secretary Robert Smith told the Daily Telegraph. "He does not have the benefit of several replays on television or a monitor.

"He was six inches away from the fighters, he is looking at the fighter's eyes, and he has the health, safety and interest of the fighter at heart. Howard Foster is a world-class professional. Another punch could have made a massive difference to George's career."

Smith's comments echoed those of Froch and trainer Robert McCracken, who both claimed Foster's decision may have saved Groves' career.

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