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Froch v Groves 2: Before predictions, let’s be grateful

Carl Froch George GrovesBy Phil Chad: On Monday 10th March at 12noon (UK Time) tickets for the May 31st Carl Froch v George Groves rematch will be on sale, and I predict that the 80,000 seats at Wembley stadium will all but nearly be gone. Now before I go into predictions and state where I will be putting my money come fight night, let’s take a moment to be grateful.

On May 31st the boxing world is going to be treated to another classic British grudge match,  and regardless of the winner we should be appreciative of both fighters who step into the squared circle and put it all on the line.

Carl Froch is a throwback, a rugged warrior with unwavering heart and determination that leads him to always fight the best, and fight them toe-to-toe. He has produced so many fan-fights, wars and great memories that win lose or draw he should go down as a British boxing great.  His boxing résumé- lined with prime fighters and world champions – speaks for itself, despite being a Brit I could never honestly say that for Joe Calzaghe.

George Groves has great athleticism, boxing ability and perhaps controversial, but undeniable charisma. Whether he achieve it on May 31st or not, Groves will be a future world champion, I have no doubt about that; and after re-watching his fight against James Degale I think a rematch would produce another all-British boxing showdown.

For this rematch, my prediction is Froch via a late stoppage (rounds 7-10) – hopefully a more conclusive one – and here’s why:

In the build up to the fight, uncharacteristically  Froch had an aura of arrogance in believing that he was 3 levels above Groves and as a result he took him lightly, this showed in his boxing especially his defence. Although Froch isn’t known for his defence he showed a reckless attitude in round one and got put on the seat of his pants for his efforts, this most certainly  shocked him. In an interview with BBC TalkSport Froch candidly admitted: “I was decked in the first round, let’s be honest I was hurt in round one. I got up and boxed on and I think  I got hit with everything but the kitchen sink for the next five rounds”. 

In the rematch, Froch’s new found respect for Groves will naturally tighten his defence and lead him to victory, not being dropped in round one will also allow Froch to start grinding Groves down early. In my view, Groves could also make his night worse should he enter the ring with too much confidence and go wading into a war with Froch early, a similar mistake that Froch made in their first fight. I do give Groves a chance, but only if he boxes and moves, keeps the action at range for 12 rounds and doesn’t engage at close-mid range with Froch. Trouble is, this high energy tactic is draining and Groves’ stamina already – rightly or wrongly – has a question mark against it with many boxing pundits.  Their  first fight would have been a much different story if Froch hadn’t have suffered a heavy first round knockdown due to his overconfidence and reckless defence; I believe we will see a different fight come May 31st.

But hey, let’s be grateful of two fighters who’s rivalry and desire to win has captured the imagination of not only the boxing world, but the everyday man and women around the world. Despite their controversial first fight, their rivalry can only be good for boxing at a time when people are saying the sweet science is dead and that UFC is the new stage for fighting, I disagree.

Whatever the outcome, boxing will be a winner on May 31st and we all have Carl Froch and George Groves to thank.

Comments and alternative predictions welcome!

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