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Ward reacts to Froch’s comments about Groves

Andre Ward, Carl Froch, George Groves boxing photo

By Scott Gilfoid: Andre Ward scolded former IBF/WBA/WBC super middleweight Carl Froch following his critical article made about George Groves (28-4, 20 KOs) after he announced that he was retiring from boxing on Monday. Although Froch was mostly saying kind things about the 30-year-old Groves in his article at Sky Sports News, he inserted a few personal comments about how he won’t miss him, and he didn’t see him as funny or clever person.

Froch (33-2, 24 KOs) came across in his article more than a little bitter. What’s hard to understand is why Froch would still be bitter after all the time that’s passed since the two last fought each other for the second time in 2014. Froch stopped Groves for the second time in their rematch after having scored a controversial ninth round knockout win in their first fight in 2013.

“Will I miss him? Probably not,” Froch said to Sky Sports News about Groves retiring from boxing. “He will be remembered for all those mind games and smart words he came out with, but I have to be honest, I never found him funny or clever,” Froch said.

Oh my, doesn’t Froch, 41, sound like the bitter one? It seems pretty clear from reading Froch’s comments that he’s still hopping mad about Groves making him look bad with the way he talked circles around him each time they got together. Froch didn’t handle things well when he and the younger Groves would get together to promote their fights.

“This dude is the biggest hater 🤦🏽‍♂️. Your over 40, bro, Let it go. The arrogance is off the charts,” Andre Ward said on his Twitter about Carl Froch on Monday.

Ward beat Froch by a 12 round unanimous decision in their rematch in December 2011 in the final of Showtime’s Super Six tournament. That was the fight that Froch complained afterwards about, saying that he didn’t like the idea of training and being away from home around Christmas time. The fight was a lot more one-sided than two of the judges’ scores, who scored it 115-113. Gilfoid had Ward winning by an 118-110 score. Once Ward took the fight to the inside, Froch was as helpless as a baby, and couldn’t do anything other than to look at the referee Steve Smoger for help. Since inside fighting is allowed in boxing, Smoger wasn’t going to step in and come to Froch’s rescue by preventing Ward from fighting him in close. It was kind of pathetic how Froch was looking at the referee when Ward was mugging him on the inside. Instead of looking at the referee, Froch should have been throwing punches, and showing the boxing world what a warrior he was. Froch had arguably gotten away with murder in his fight against the talented Andre Dirrell in 2009 in Nottingham. Froch roughed Dirrell up badly in the second half of that fight, while the referee Hector Afu stood and watched and failed to take charge of the situation. Froch wound up winning a controversial 12 round split decision in front of his own fans at the Nottingham Arena.

As for Froch’s two fights with Groves, what Carl might not have seen as the time was that Groves was just doing his part in trying to sell their fights to the British boxing public. Groves did most of the heavy lifting in promoting those two fights in terms of giving interesting interviews to the media. Since Groves wasn’t the big star at the time, and wasn’t being given the same huge money, it was important for him to work twice as hard to help promote the fight. Unfortunately, that meant that Groves had to ridicule Froch when the two would get together or when he was asked questions by the media. Groves’ trash talking worked out well for him and Froch, because more boxing fan were

“I could talk about what happened in the fight at Wembley, but you all know,” Froch said in dropping a big hint about his eighth round knockout win over Groves in their rematch in May 2014 at Wembley Stadium… “I won’t miss him and I am not sure that British boxing will miss him, these days at least. There was nothing left out there for him. He was conclusively beaten and there was never going to be a rematch,” Froch said.

You hate to disagree with Froch, but there certainly could have been a rematch between Groves and Callum Smith if Saint George had wanted it. It’s hard to say whether Groves would have done any better than he did in the first fight, but he would have given Callum some problems for as long as it lasted. Groves’s right-hand punching power would have kept Callum on his toes at all times, because if he wasn’t alert for that shot, he would get taken out the same way Jamie Cox was in his quarterfinal fight against Groves in the World Boxing Super Series tournament in October 2017. Groves stopped Cox with a body shot in the fourth round. The right hand body shot Groves landed for the stoppage came out of nowhere, and it looked so effortless on his part. If Groves landed a similar shot to the midsection of Callum, we’d likely have seen similar results.

Like Froch, Groves is retiring at the top, with a lot still left in the tank. Froch was still in his prime when he walked away from boxing in 2014, and he probably could still be one of the top fighters in the division even now. When you see flawed fighters like Rocky Fielding losing to small middleweights like Saul Canelo Alvarez, it’s easy to imagine Froch still doing very well at 168 if he had stuck around all this time. Groves is the same boat. As long as Groves’ left shoulder held up, he could continue do well at 168 if he could make weight for the division. He was still fighting at the top of his game despite suffering a loss to Smith. Groves could have made a lot of money in fighting the like of David Benavidez, Saul Canelo Alvarez, Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez, James DeGale, Chris Eubank Jr. Even if Groves didn’t want to fight Callum again, he could have made good cash fighting the other fighters at 168.

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