Recap: Froch impresses with knockout win over Groves at Wembley

Carl Froch shut down the doubters with his eighth round knockout victory over George Groves. Photo: Courtesy Sky Sports

SAN DIEGO, May 31, 2014 – It’s nearly impossible to live up to the sort of hype given to the rematch between Carl Froch and George Groves Saturday in London at Wembley Stadium. But once in a while to the delight of boxing fans, fighters put on a show worthy of the hype.

This time, experience got the better of youth as Froch knocked out Groves at 2:53 of the eighth round with a stunning straight right hand blow. Froch not only won the fight in the decisive manner he wanted, he gave his entire career a major shot of adrenaline. If you missed it, HBO will air a replay at 9 a.m. ET Sunday.

Carl Froch admires his work after the knockout punch to George Groves. Photo: Courtesy Sky Sports
Carl Froch admires his work after the knockout punch to George Groves. Photo: Courtesy Sky Sports

American referee Charlie Fitch didn’t even administer a count to Groves. Perhaps that decision by Fitch wasn’t the best idea in retrospect, but there was zero controversy about the outcome unlike the knockout of Groves in the first fight.

Groves was winning the fight on most scorecards up to the point of the knockout, just as he had been in the first fight. He was lively and scoring well in the early rounds, which is the norm for Groves. Slowly but surely, Froch began taking charge, working the body of Groves and scoring with bigger punches.

Froch (35-2, 24 KOs) worked the body of Groves (20-2, 15 KOs) for the perfect set-up allowing the knockout punch to be such a game changer. “That was the best punch I’ve thrown in my life,” Froch said at the post-fight news conference. “I didn’t really try and knock him out, I just threw the punch.” Froch called Groves young, talented and skillful, but “I’ve got ingredients you can’t teach: toughness, heart, a mindset.”

“It’s hard to top this evening, this is the pinnacle of my career.” Froch said if he had lost, he would have retired. Instead, he’s now a folk hero in Britain and the bout is a contender for Comeback of the Year, perhaps Fight of the Year.

George Groves and Carl Froch in the ring after Froch's knockout victory. Photo: Courtesy Sky Sports
George Groves and Carl Froch in the ring after Froch’s knockout victory. Photo: Courtesy Sky Sports

After the knockout, Groves congratulated Froch in the ring, all the pre-fight posturing forgotten in a display of British sportsmanship. When asked at the post-fight news conference what Groves said to him in the ring, Groves smiled and said, “I’m not 100 percent sure, really. I’m sure he was being nice to me, Carl always is.

“Congratulations to Carl, he put up a really good show.” Groves said he thought he was winning very comfortably. “I’m shocked how it turned out.” Groves said he took a quick look after the fight at a replay of the knockout, and said “I was certainly longer on the floor than I realized, that’s a first for me.”

“I’m 26 years old, I just boxed in front of 80,000 fans. I didn’t get the result I wanted, but I think I was boxing well. I’m sure I’m going to have a long, successful career ahead of me. I thank Carl for taking the fight.”

You can watch the entire post-fight news conference here.

Later on his Twitter account @StGeorgeGroves, Groves posted this comment: “Haven’t watched it back properly yet but I think… I got knocked the (***) out! #Rematch lol ”

Froch assured the media he intends to continue boxing. Speculation began immediately as to possible opponents for Froch. There are many choices from the boxing buffet, all quite tasty. Andre Ward, Gennady Golovkin, British middleweight Daniel DeGale, Sakio Bika, and Juiio Caesar Chavez Jr. A fall fight with Chavez in Las Vegas seems to be the frontrunner. Froch’s promoter Eddie Hearn said he would love to have a big HBO and Sky Sports pay per view for Froch, and Chavez would fill that bill. Froch said he would take the summer off before he made a decision.

Nonito Donaire (right) and Simpiwe Vetyeka in their bout from Macau. Photo: Top Rank
Nonito Donaire (right) and Simpiwe Vetyeka in their bout from Macau. Photo: Top Rank

In a fight earlier in the day in Macau, China, Nonito Donaire won a technical decision after four rounds over Simpiwe Vetyeka of South Africa. It was a messy, disappointing contest with a questionable result. Donaire was badly cut over the left eye at the end of the first round due to an accidental head butt. Referee Luis Pabon kept calling time out in the middle of rounds to have the cut checked. It was obviously bothering Donaire and blocking his vision.

Nevertheless, Donaire scored a knockdown with a left hook in the fourth round. Vetyeka got up and continued to the end of the round. At this point, the fight was official. Referee Pabon and ring officials saw fit to stop the fight due to the cut. No coincidence on the timing. Donaire was winning but there was a lot of fight left in both men.

Donaire said quickly after the fight he wanted to try and end it on his own. He said he would give Veyyeka a rematch, as well he should. He wrote later on his Facebook page, “I wanted to finish the fight continuing off the knockdown but unfortunately my cut was called by the ref and docs. I wanted to keep fighting. I received 11 stitches and will need to heal this.” Vetyeka said “I’m so disappointed by the way the fight ended. But I think it’s proper to say congratulations to Nonito Donaire.”

Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Media Migraine in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego. Gayle can be reached via Google +

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