Snakebit: Froch KOs Groves

By Robert Ecksel on May 31, 2014
Snakebit: Froch KOs Groves
The controversy surrounding their first fight in November 2013 is now a distant memory.

Froch successfully defended his IBF/WBA super middleweight titles by knocking out George Groves with a picture-perfect right hand at 2:34 of the eighth round…

Saturday night at Wembley Stadium in London, England, Carl “The Cobra” Froch (33-2, 24 KOs) successfully defended his IBF/WBA super middleweight titles by knocking out George Groves (19-2, 15 KOs) with a picture-perfect right hand at 2:34 of the eighth round.

The controversy surrounding their first fight on November 23, 2013 is now a distant memory. Froch wanted to avenge that victory, which was tainted by an early stoppage, and avenge it he did.

Fighting out of the blue corner in black trunks, it took a few rounds before Froch found his rhythm. Groves, fighting out of the red corner in blue trunks trimmed in white, put his youth (he’s 10 years younger than the champ) to good effect.

Both fighters were tentative in round one. They were cautious. They were respectful. They traded feints. They traded jabs. Groves tried to keep the action in the center of the ring. Froch obliged by rarely initiating. The round was as close as a round can be, with Groves slightly edging Froch, based on workrate alone, to take it 10-9.

Things heated up a bit in the second. Neither fighter was landing at first, but their clinches were significant. Given the opportunity, or making the most of an opportunity when it presented itself, Froch mauled and laced his opponent in close. He also pushed Groves to the canvas. The boxing resumed and they traded rights. But Groves was outworking the champ. He landed a beautiful straight right counter. Froch answered with a left hook at the bell.

Groves had landed 13 more punches that Froch after two rounds.

The 80,000 in attendance began booing in round three. They came to see a fight, not a game of chess, and expressed their displeasure in no uncertain terms. The fighters took turns landing right hands. Groves connected with two left hooks followed by a jab. Froch came back with a jab and hook of his own. Froch’s defense, or lack thereof, seemed ready-made for a speedster like Groves, who was ahead three to zip going into the fourth.

The tide began turning in round four. The technically superior Groves connected with a big right to get things started. No one likes getting hit as much as Carl Froch and he went on the attack. Groves landed a 1-2 followed by a right. The Cobra unleashed a left hook and jab that drove Groves to the ropes. Froch couldn’t capitalize as Groves slid out of harm’s way. They traded rights at ring center. Froch started working the body. He was behind on the scorecards, but that was about to change.

Froch gained the upper hand in the fifth. A flurry of punches got Groves’ attention. A hard right wobbled him. Groves moved the action back to the center of the ring where he threw a right that was partially blocked. Froch landed five thudding shots to Groves body. War had finally broken out—and The Cobra had gotten the better of it. He landed 11 power punches to Saint George’s 3. More important, he had won the round.

Round six is when Froch took charge. He was relaxed. He was confident. Groves was slowing down. Froch sensed that he was there for the taking. Groves was still in it. He countered effectively and it was still anyone’s fight. But if Froch could sustain his killer instinct, it was only a matter of time.

Groves landed a jab followed by a left hook that stunned The Cobra to start the seventh. It looked like the momentum had shifted again. He caught Froch with a shot by the ear. Froch shook it off and caught Groves with a combination followed by a big right. With his back to the ropes, Groves landed a left to push Froch back. It was a close, action-packed round. The nod went to Froch.

Froch beat Groves to the punch at the start of round eight. Groves landed a jab upstairs and down. Froch landed a right and the two men traded right hands. Froch fired off another body shot. Then he feinted, threw a check left hook, and connected with a right that dropped Groves to the canvas. With his left leg twisted beneath him and his eyes swimming in his head, referee Charlie Fitch didn’t even bother to count. Carl Froch had won the fight and he had won it the way he wanted.

After the but Froch said he was “Feeling unbelievably elated, the best moment in history of my boxing career. George Groves should also be proud. It was neck and neck, a close fight. Sometimes in professional boxing it only takes one punch. He was on the end of a right hand from a true seasoned champion.”

Truer words were never spoken, and it’s great to hear Carl Froch speak them.

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  1. raxman 07:39pm, 06/03/2014

    Froch has just fought his mandatory - in fact fighting Groves twice was double mandatory duty. his next fight is his to choose.
    having said all that I think froch is now in the elite $ end of the market where titles are irrelevant. him fighting is the show. its only a small number of fighters that can claim that.

  2. The Tache 02:45am, 06/03/2014

    Koolz,
    i agree that De Gale’s style might be difficult for Froch from a technical standpoint, but in all his fights I have seen, when he does land a good punch he just looks pleased with himself and poses around, last fight excepted. He doesn’t have the aggression to beat up Froch, even if he could outpoint him. He rarely finishes his outclassed opponents, I couldn’t see him stopping a Froch. That’s what I meant when I said Froch wouldn’t get beaten up badly by him, even if he did lose.

  3. Koolz 11:35am, 06/02/2014

    James DeGale would be really tough for Froch!  He fights at weird angles and his inside game is really good.  I think Froch will avoid him for his next fight.
    Maybe it will be in Vegas though and with someone like Chavez Jr.
    Now that I mention Degale I have to mention someone might make an excuse to fight De Gale!

  4. The Tache 11:03am, 06/02/2014

    For what it’s worth, my views on Froch and his swan song. First, good to see he got his PR right this time and won the fans back, unlike his ramblings during the first, post fight interview.
    As for who’s next, I would guess at Chavez Jnr if he wants Vegas lights and money, Ward for Vegas and revenge or Kessler again in England might sell. Even De Gale would probably offer decent financial returns with little risk of getting bashed up badly.
    GGG is very high risk and he can get better reward elsewhere. Also, I saw an interview with Froch during the build up during which possible future opponents were mentioned, including GGG.
    Froch said that GGG “hits like a mule” and “avoid like the plague”
    Personally, I would go for JCC Jnr and the cash in a battle of the iron jawed sluggers.

  5. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 09:27am, 06/02/2014

    Raxman-Here’s a question for you….why doesn’t that “pugilistic genius” who’s always complaining that he can’t get the fights that he deserves, just move 6 lbs. and 15 oz’s north and work his magic as the lightheavyweight that he really is….there’s lots of fun and money to be made there…..makes you wonder doesn’t it.

  6. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 09:12am, 06/02/2014

    Oh the science of it all….plain and simple….. Froch who was warming up and getting stronger with each round…. smelled blood in the latter half of the 8th and was grunting with each vicious shot especially to the body….groves was fading (oh yes he was) and don’t think for an instant Carl didn’t literally feel it….moreover regardless of the half assed interference of the ref in the first go round….the endings were very similar….in fact all should agree by now that but for the refs actions in the first fight George would more than likely have ended up on his back anyway with no need for a return.

  7. Pete The Sneak 08:25am, 06/02/2014

    Good Point MHE!!

  8. Mohummad Humza Elahi 07:52am, 06/02/2014

    Also worth pointing out that James DeGale is now mandatory for the IBF, so Froch would have to vacate if he wants his next fight to be in Vegas against a bigger name.

  9. Pete The Sneak 07:46am, 06/02/2014

    Koolz, that’s exactly my point…If he decides it will be one more fight, why rematch with Ward when you can truly go out in a blaze of glory?...raxman, my assumption on Froch not taking on a Ward rematch is pretty much as you said…Makes absolutely no business sense for him at this point in his life and career to attempt to ‘avenge’ the Ward loss, regardless of what he said after the Kessler fight. That’s what fighters always say, but not necessarily what they always do. At this stage, why even bother, and by the time Ward probably does decide to fight again, Froch may truly be over the hill. Strike while the iron is hot…Guaranteed, though I’m not to keen on seeing a Kessler/Froch trilogy, it would certainly be a much safer and more lucrative fight (particularly in the UK) for Froch than anything he can do involving the not as popular (to the non-pugilistic fanatic world) Ward…Just my humble opinion….As you said, ‘Froch is no mug.”...indeed…Peace.

  10. Koolz 07:22am, 06/02/2014

    Right now Froch is on top of the WORLD!
    He can fight who ever he wants where ever he wants.
    Will be damn interesting to see what he decides!  One more fight maybe?

  11. raxman 06:51am, 06/02/2014

    MHE - yes and i think if i’m not mistaken Groves had tried to hook with froch throughout the fight - obviously a decision based Groves and his team being unaware of the old, but less well known adage,its ok to hook with a hooker but watch out for the riii - never mind!
    pete the sneak - i wonder why so many automatically assume Froch doesn’t want the Ward rematch. (and in saying that i assume that is what you meant when you say froch wont fight ward again) it was all he spoke about post Kessler 2. Froch would definitely want to try to avenge that loss. Froch has convinced himself that he wasn’t as badly schooled as it appeared, and he acknowledged at the time - and having watched that fight again recently i tend to - while slightly agree with him. also froch didn’t fight well. i didnt really believe it was him having an off night until he had another with groves and rectified it the other night - in short his balance, and as a result his jab, were off in both groves and ward fights, and lastly froch was coming on strong at the end. the biggest problem i see for the ward froch rematch is the business side. froch isn’t a mug, he knows he is the one who sells out 80k stadiums. Froch has a whole country who know his name. outside of boxing fans no one knows the pugilistic genius that is andre ward.

  12. Mohummad Humza Elahi 06:16am, 06/02/2014

    A quick word on Groves’ positional sense at the KO; he was going for the counter-hook off the pivot if you watch it back, unfortunately he ran out of space and was well short as Froch’s right came steamin’ in.  Groves was fooled by Froch’s body position, he stepped in sidways with a wide hook, making it seem as if he was further away than he actually was, by the time Groves let his hand go, Froch was in his space.
    Goddamn, I love this sport.

  13. Pete The Sneak 05:03am, 06/02/2014

    By the by Koolz, you are dead on in your assessment of Groves hand being down at his waist while that right hand by Froch was coming. He was totally unable to block that right and yes, it was a fatal mistake by the youngster…Peace.

  14. Pete The Sneak 04:58am, 06/02/2014

    koolz/raxman, while I totally agree that GGG certainly hasn’t earned the right to fight Froch, never say never…This is boxing after all and they will find some way to ‘justify’ GGG’s status as to why he should face Froch, particularly if he totally dominates Geale in their upcoming fight (though I don’t think that will be the case, although GGG should win)...Froch is not getting any younger (though his right hand may tell you different) and he sure as hell is not going to face Andre Ward again, that is if Andre ever decides to fight in this century…A GGG/Froch fight would be huge business. With this spectacular win by the Cobra against Groves and the hype machine that is GGG, yeah, some sanctioning body may very well decide that GGG is worthy of a shot at Froch’s title. Could happen. Just saying…Peace.

  15. raxman 07:56pm, 06/01/2014

    koolz - froch and ggg will never meet because GGG still hasn’t earned the right for a fight with Froch. Groves was at least a local lad made good and it made sense for a post Kessler winning Froch to have what they saw as an easy fight (like the one Khan had vs McCloskey post Maidana) only thing was Groves didn’t know it was a show he thought it was fight.
    GGG faces his first genuine 160 pound world class opponent in Geale in July. that will be one world class opponent in 30 fights.
    froch just had his 33rd fight (4 more than GGG 29) and he has fought 8 world class opponents (Kessler twice).
    froch is a world class, battle worn, proven world champion.
    Golovkin has looked great knocking out fighters he was always going to beat and has developed a fanatical following because of it.
    if one is to follower a banger surely Kovalev is the one to get on board. at least he has built his resume up by beating other top tier 175pounders

  16. Koolz 07:38pm, 06/01/2014

    Raxman
    I think that the Kessler three might happen because it’s tie between both fighters and Froch might want to settle the score.
    Even though Froch won, and believe I had him by KO before this fight, we have to admit that Groves made a terrible mistake by not blocking that Right!  His hand was at his waist!
    I love the GGG Hype Train, I am in the front Seat!  Froch and GGG it will never happen!

  17. raxman 07:28pm, 06/01/2014

    irish - yes I’ve said it before - froch and pac both have a move where they step forward with their back foot as they throw their back (power) hand (although I haven’t seen pac back do that as much in his last few fights) this move squares them up a bit and allows for the body shots
    ted the bull is still around - but we have a lot less reason to duel since he agreed GGG resume was less than stellar. I had him at Adama.
    now GGG is finally fighting a legit contender. I expect him to win but we will truly see how good he is when in with someone who can fight at world level.

  18. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 06:44pm, 06/01/2014

    raxman-Putting aside for the moment the fabulous success both have achieved….do you see the similarities in Carl’s and Pacquiao’s boxing styles (techniques) and general attributes that I do….both the positive and maybe the not so positive aspects….just wondering…..which reminds me….. I miss the fun of you and Ted Sares going round and a’ round.

  19. raxman 06:19pm, 06/01/2014

    yes irish, but Chavez, much like Arthur Abraham did in their super six bout, would make froch’s boxing skills look like sugar ray robinson was reincarnated - in a battle of the slow starters, chavez jnr’s revolutionary training technique of pulling bongs on the couch wouldn’t help him much vs the cobra. and his mid fight marijuana induced hallucinations would have him screaming “enough is enough, I have had it with these mother fucking snakes in this mother fucking ring”!

  20. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 06:06pm, 06/01/2014

    Herein lies the rub….Carl is a 168 pounder through and through…..Baby Huey Chavez is a cruiserweight if ever there was and would probably have 20 lbs. on Carl at fight time….a son of a brute with a chin like a neanderthal who probably hits at least as hard as Groves…..Hearn may feel that Froch deserves his PPV Vegas showcase but they better be warned….. Junior is a heavy Goddamned load and probably would have sponged up that right that almost killed George….just sayin’.

  21. raxman 04:15pm, 06/01/2014

    well Groves did exactly what I said (in comment to MHE’s article last week) he wouldn’t do. I said no way will he come out and box and let froch get settled. no way its not the way he fights. he knows he’ll have to get out quick and discombobulate froch - yes I even got to use discombobulate - huh, now I’ve used it 3 times!!
    fortunately for my pocket I also said every time I bet against carl I lose money - froch was 2-1 by ko - short money but a safe bet as it turned out
    like the last fight - I feel Froch did a lot of really good work to the body. its interesting that this didn’t get more coverage from the last fight as you don’t automatically think body puncher when you think froch. but I must admit I didn’t notice the body work in Froch-Groves1 until rewatching the other day, as a result I was all over it this fight.
    koolz - do you think a 3rd Kessler fight would be any good? isn’t the Dane just about retired? I think he’s done the kostya Tszyu thing of not officially announcing but just not fighting again. I like the idea of Chavez jnr in vegas though. not that Junior has done anything to deserve a shot at 168 titles except have a big following. all the other champions aren’t worth worrying about are they? Ward is tied up in legal drama. Bika is Bika. and who has the wbo title? who cares. the fact froch made weight 8 weeks out from this fight makes me think he’ll never go north to 175.
    matt mosley - yeah check hook is the one you turn out on instead of pulling back - this was your classic lead hook - or really hooking off the feint jab - but I’m sure our fearless editor was just typing too quickly and didn’t actually mean check hook

  22. Ted Spoon 09:10am, 06/01/2014

    What a surprise that was! Groves just started to find his rhythm and then BANG! Not a classic but a spectacle. George showed that good skill set again but needs to tighten up defensively. Big congratulations to the Cobra.

  23. Mohummad Humza Elahi 04:13am, 06/01/2014

    Great fight; I had Groves up by about 1 or 2 points going into the 8th, the KO was unquestionable, literally “blink and you’ll miss it”, especially catching it at a right angle to his jaw, it was a nasty shot to take.

  24. Matt Mosley 01:52am, 06/01/2014

    As far as i am aware a “check hook” is a counter hook, like the one Floyd dropped Hatton with. The hook Froch threw to distract Groves from the power right hand was not a check hook.

  25. Davor 07:23pm, 05/31/2014

    Damn this Froch is good! So good that he even has more KO’s than wins!

  26. Darrell 06:52pm, 05/31/2014

    Yes!!  Must be pretty satisfying to be Carl Froch right now…..he let his fists do the talking.

    Although many of the rounds were close, scoring wise, Froch for mine effectively communicated to Groves that he was the boss by dominating the middle of the ring. Though Groves won the 7th nicely pushing forward, it seemed to me that before the KO punch Froch started to press again physically & close the distance.

    Very conclusive result.

  27. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 06:13pm, 05/31/2014

    Can’t imagine what the fans at Wembley were booing about…..what would they do if they had to endure twelve rounds of Bernard Hopkins…..probably not a hint of a boo…..they’d more than likely be good hosts and go into ass kissy, PC mode and suffer through.

  28. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 05:56pm, 05/31/2014

    Lots of talk about Carl’s ugly style.especially from Groves….if anyone needs to change his style it’s George…..it’s like he’s in constant grit teeth mode…..relax…..relax…..just relax George….you’re wearing yourself to a frazzle with all that frenetic movement…..another thing that semi squat stance you’ve adopted is very , very draining and hard on the legs…..all of which causes your pink complexion to become more rosy red with each passing round….that’s why Froch knows when it’s time to stick that fork in.

  29. Clarence George 05:50pm, 05/31/2014

    Ended sooner and more decisively than I anticipated, but not at all surprised Froch won—never thought Groves had much of a chance.

  30. Matt McGrain 04:37pm, 05/31/2014

    I had Groves sneaking back in after Froch dominated the first six, but good, good fight.  Well done Froch, one of Britain’s best, ever.

  31. TerryR 04:03pm, 05/31/2014

    Groves did not win the first four rounds. He was probably slightly behind by the eighth round and was becoming the aggressor and was more successful. Then, Froch caught him with a great punch. That was the difference in this far too tactical (lack of any commitment) fight. Not conclusive given how much Groves dominated the first fight before the controversial ending.

  32. Peter 03:49pm, 05/31/2014

    Fantastic right to end the night, I really can’t fathom how you had groves up by 4 going In to the fifth? In this boxing fans humble opinion groves took the second otherwise the early rounds although close went to the cobra.

  33. Pete The Sneak 03:43pm, 05/31/2014

    The ‘Old man’ spanked the youngster…What a great win for the Cobra. This was the only way it had to end…The opportunities are endless right now for Froch…Man, I’m still buzzing. Great stuff…Peace.

  34. Koolz 02:59pm, 05/31/2014

    Oh Yea that was Awesome!  Man that was great!  What is surreal is that no matter how good Froch is he would lose to GGG or Ward but damn give the guy his moment!  I loved that RIGHT!
    The Cobra can Strike!
    Are we going for a third Kessler Fight Now?

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