• Carl Froch v George Groves II

Time is right for Froch to quit

Steve Bunce June 1, 2014
Carl Froch knocked out George Groves in the eighth round © Getty Images

We can all now safely say that Carl Froch walks with boxing's giants and he can also punch with the very best in British boxing history.

The Nottingham fighter has survived his battles in the ring for supremacy and outside the ring for respect, but he surely conquered all doubters for the last time when he sent George Groves to dreamland.

Froch, 36, used every tiny inches of the tiny ring to slowly drain Groves of energy before the last punch connected. It was his movement, his planning and his calm that was most impressive; clinical and intentional and inch-perfect clean knockouts are actually rare in the boxing business.

Froch stops Groves with thunderous knockout

Carl Froch landed the punch in the eighth round © Getty Images
  • Carl Froch gave a champion's performance to knock George Groves out in the eighth round of their highly anticipated world title rematch at Wembley Stadium.
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Froch would not beat Joe Calzaghe, Chris Eubank or Nigel Benn every time they met but it would never be easy. Froch has that caveman gene that allows him to do most things wrong and still pull out wins - in that respect he most resembles Calzaghe, which is not a comparison that either boxer would relish.

Eubank at his busiest best would have caused Froch a lot of problems and a 12 round fight between the pair might not have been such a glorious spectacle. There were moments on Saturday when the action slowed and the crowd booed, which they are entitled to do; a tactical stand-off between Froch and Eubank would have allowed the dissenters full voice.

It is the Benn fight that divides the people; Froch is easy to hit with wide shots, thrown fast and in fury. Benn was also a better boxer and ring technician than he was ever given credit for. If Benn and Froch met in the 18-foot ring, which was the canvas for Saturday's masterclass at dismantling a young man's dreams, then Benn would have the edge. The next night, under the same circumstances, I'm convinced that Froch would have adjusted.

It is the fantasy pairing of Froch and Calzaghe that most excites and that is probably because it could have happened. Joe dismissed the Froch kid and the Froch kid dismissed Joe during a crossover period of excellence in 2008.

"I have no respect for Joe Calzaghe," said Froch in 2010 when he was trying to entice the Welsh idol to end his retirement and fight him. "He opted to fight old men instead of live and dangerous challengers." The insults failed to stir Calzaghe and the pair are now speaking - perhaps Froch realised that badmouthing legends is not such a bright idea.

Groves has been badmouthing Froch for about 12 months and it was a tactic that helped shape the hearts and minds of Saturday's devoted punters. It was also a tactic that tricked him into believing his own hype and words of abuse. Groves was too confident; Froch simply raided the ancient tomb of rematch reality, put a different head on, changed his style drastically and pulled off a brilliant end.

It is Froch's ability to reinvent himself that allows him to walk and swing with the giants. He would lose some fights but he would also win, make no mistake.

Froch now has to decide on a future and whether it is on the safe or the dangerous side of the ropes. He has nothing to prove but he insists he wants a big fight in Las Vegas. It would be good, but it is not necessary and if he walks away now I would lead the cheering.

© Getty Images
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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.