• Steve Bunce

Froch and Groves at last

Steve Bunce May 30, 2014
Buncey's Boxing Podcast

Carl Froch wants us all to know that last November he got it wrong in the ring but still won the fight.

George Groves, meanwhile, wants us all to know that on Saturday night he will get it all right and will win the fight.

Groves has promised a knockout and insists that his left hook will do the damage and Froch is confident that the rematch will not go the distance.

"George Groves will not hear the final bell," countered Froch after Groves had outlined his plans.

"It will be one-sided from the start and I will use the left hook to knock out Carl Froch," Groves said.

Tale of the tape

Froch and Groves: Head-to-head © Getty Images
  • Carl Froch v George Groves

  • Cobra Nickname Saint

    36 Age 26

    6'1" Height 6'0"

    189cm Reach 183cm

    Orthodox Stance Orthodox

    34-2-0 W-L-D 20-19-1

    22 KOs 15

Both claim that the training camps have been brilliant, both have told people in the business that they have never been in better mental or physical shape; it is one of those genuine fifty-fifty fights where there appears to be no weaknesses in any of their arguments.

Froch is determined to convert any lingering doubters to his particular claim that the last time he met Groves he was not mentally prepared. "I know now that I never took George Groves seriously," says Froch, which he has been saying for about three months.

"Carl Froch knows that he cannot possibly be any better and he knows that I can only have improved," added Groves, who has been using the same line for about the same time.

They are each unshakeable in their belief in victory and, it has to be said, both are convinced that glory on the night inside the Wembley ring under the scrutiny of 80,000 rabid fans will be easy.

"George fought a great fight last time and he hurt Carl - that was last time," said Robert McCracken, who has been in Froch's corner on every occasion that he has fought as a professional. The pair are genuinely inseparable and have climbed in tandem in and out of the ring 34 times, including 11 consecutive world title fights. They are mates and that is rare in boxing beyond a year or two for most boxer and trainer couples.

"I keep hearing that George is not a 12-round fighter - that's wrong, and if he has to prove it, take it from me, brother, he will. He has done it before. In the Glen Johnson fight he went twelve at a furious pace," said Paddy Fitzpatrick, who took over the training and corner duties just nine weeks before the first fight. This time they have been a team in the gym - a deeply conspiratorial team, it has to be said - since the days after the fight last November. That includes the 82 days between the end of the last fight and the announcement of this one.

The Froch that beat Arthur Abraham in Helsinki in 2010 will beat Groves again but the Froch from the first fight will struggle. Froch has to be sharper, more alert, less wasteful and busier. "I will be a different fighter," Froch has promised.

The Groves that was starting to tire in the first fight, just before the stoppage, will lose also this fight. Groves needs to be as sharp, alert and remain composed as the later bells sound. "He has to be polished," added Fitzpatrick, which seems the perfect word to me.

There is nothing easy about winning this fight, nothing simple to introduce that will suddenly make it seem like all the theories were a useless waste of time. It will be hard and I expect both to be hurt, both to be in trouble and the winner will be the man that sticks to what he does best. It will be Groves if he is mobile and Froch if he is in control of his emotions.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
Steve Bunce Close
Steve Bunce has been ringside in Las Vegas over 50 times, he has been at five Olympics and has been writing about boxing for over 25 years for a variety of national newspapers in Britain, including four which folded! It is possible that his face and voice have appeared on over 60 channels worldwide in a variety of languages - his first novel The Fixer was published in 2010 to no acclaim; amazingly it has been shortlisted for Sports Book of the Year.