Froch v Groves round 2
By Shaun Ayres: Finally, news that many boxing fans have been waiting for, Carl Froch v George Groves 2 looks set for May. This is an intriguing contest which incorporates many permutations for both fighters depending on the outcome of the fight. I have taken the view that the fight was stopped too early last time, I am not advocating that Groves was not hurt, but if you watch the fight, you can still see he is still slipping some of Froch’s punches and firing some shots back.
I have read loads of comments from pundits, commentators and fans alike, there is clearly disagreement about how hurt Groves actually was. However, the point of this article is not to bring up the previous fight, but rather, to analyze the forthcoming fight. I think there are three key areas where the fight will be won and lost, these are, technical ability, fitness, heart and longevity.
Technical ability is often thrown around by many fans, so for instance many fight fans talk about Mayweather, Ward, Bradley as some of the more technically sound fighters in the modern fight scene. They all have the ability to hit and not get hit as much as other fighters. Carl Froch is often described as a warrior, as opposed to technically sound, he can take a solid punch and return it with interest. He does keep his left hand very low. Froch does have an under rated jab and does possess more boxing ability than most people give him credit for. However, in terms of technical ability we have seen how he struggled against Andre Ward when he was comfortably beaten in the final of the super six. George Groves another boxer who has tremendous boxing ability arguably made Froch look worse for the first 7 rounds of their original fight, than Ward had previously done. I remember watching the fight with my mate, and both of us had a semi bewildered look on our face, as George Groves seemed to hit Froch at will and then slip his punches, and make Froch look like he was punching an imaginary fighter the other side of the ring. This was personified by that brutal knockdown in the first round, I still do not know how Froch got up from that? Groves looked so comfortable, and despite how the judges scored it, I had him 7 rounds up at that point. So in terms of technical ability for me George Groves comes out on top.
Fitness, as any boxer will tell you, is one of the most fundamental principles of boxing. Any boxer worth his salt has to be able to fight for the duration, whether it is 6, 8, 10 or 12 rounds. I think one of the issues from the first fight, was George Groves looked like he was starting to tire (I am not saying the fight should have been stopped). In contrast, Froch was definitely puffing but seemed the fresher of the two and started really coming at Groves in the 8th and 9th round. Froch has an unbelievable engine and is possibly one of the fittest boxers in the modern game. Froch often talks about being an “elite level athlete” and regardless of what you think about Froch technically, he is a supremely fit individual. I think this may have been a factor in the first fight had the fight continued. So in regards to fitness Froch comes out on top.
Heart and longevity, I think as mentioned above, most people would still be asleep now if Groves had caught them with that straight right!! Froch somehow not only got up but managed to recover, that takes not just a “cast iron chin” but unbelievable heart and desire. Froch has the desire to win, and he is prepared to do anything to achieve success as he wants to go down in the hall of fame and cement his status as a “Boxing Legend”! Groves has also shown heart when Kenny Anderson dropped him and he got up to later stop Anderson, Groves has admitted himself (not sure how true this statement was) that he was more hurt in that fight than against Froch. In terms of longevity Groves has not been in too many wars, in this writers opinion he is definitely the fresher of the two fighters. Froch in contrast has been in many tough fights, and I am definitely of the opinion that fighters punch resistance can erode over time (Ricky Hatton), although Froch does have a far cleaner lifestyle than Hatton. So I believe Froch has the heart and Groves has longevity on his side.
To conclude, this is an absolutely intriguing fight. There are so many possible scenarios. If George Groves paces himself better and sticks to his boxing, I think Groves wins this. However, Groves has a really bad habit of getting into a tear-up with his opponent and I think there are only two fighters (Gennady Golovkin or Sergi Kovalev) who may come out on top in a fire fight with Froch. Froch before his first fight was on a dance show with his partner and was supremely confident he would annihilate Groves based on his sparring experience against the challenger. This time around Groves has lost his element of surprise, and Froch no matter what he says, knows only too well that he has to be 100% or he will lose. It will be interesting to see how either fighter rebuilds after losing! I just hope regardless of the outcome, it is left to a more natural conclusion this time out.