• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

Cobra strikes as Froch has last word

Carl Froch settled his rivalry with George Groves in brutal fashion as he knocked his bitter enemy out cold with a crunching right hand in their record-breaking Wembley Stadium rematch.

Carl Froch stops George Groves in the eighth round with the punch of a lifetimePhotograph: Getty
Carl Froch stops George Groves in the eighth round with the punch of a lifetimePhotograph: Getty

Froch infamously won their first meeting in Manchester last November, recovering from a first-round knockdown and terrible start to stop Groves controversially in the ninth round.

He once again retained his IBF and WBA super-middleweight titles and answered any remaining questions with a breathtaking eighth-round punch which knocked Groves out in front of 80,000 baying fans.

The nature of the first fight's ending only fuelled animosity between the pair and served to hype the rematch into a sell-out.

Among that impressive crowd were the likes of Frank Bruno, Amir Khan, David Haye and Joe Calzaghe plus other sports stars and celebrities such as Wayne Rooney and Gordon Ramsay.

Unlike their first encounter, Hammersmith's Groves just about edged it in terms of support as his fans slightly drowned out Nottingham native Froch's.

Froch, 36, brought a record of 32 wins and two defeats to the ring, with 23 knockouts, compared with Groves' 19-1 (15KOs).

Groves had weighed in over a pound lighter than Froch on Friday despite being naturally bigger, suggesting he may have weakened himself by losing too much weight too quickly.

But he seemed to have an early edge as Froch refused to look into his eyes as the pair reached the ring.

A cagey opening few seconds saw the 26-year-old Groves land first with the jab as Froch appeared mindful of his opening salvo last time.

Froch caught Groves with a glancing left hook but the respect for each other's power was evident.

Groves landed a right in the second which was by far the best action at that point, and a left hook as Froch moved in moments later.

Froch landed two left hooks as he pounced on the pensive Groves but a counter right hand from Groves was a good finish to a round where Froch had improved.

A one-two by Groves probably earned him the fourth but the rounds were hard to score. A similar combination in the fifth brought more success only for Froch to trap him in the corner briefly as he wailed away.

Groves was too quick with the jab, footwork and defensive reflexes while his right hand was a potent weapon. But there remained a sense he could be got at by Froch at times as the veteran edged the sixth and a small cut appeared under Groves' left eye.

Groves landed a powerful lead left in the seventh which was easily the best shot of the fight at that stage. Another and two hooking rights as Froch attacked were also impressive but he took one himself in the skirmish.

Some casual fans inside Wembley grumbled at the technical nature of the bout at times.

But it erupted in the eighth as a right hand from nowhere obliterated the challenger. Letting his guard slip for a split second, Froch unleashed the shot which saw Groves crumple to the canvas unconscious.

The youngster was still wobbling a full minute later as he faces the prospect of going away and rebuilding. But ultimately, the score was settled and Froch's legacy enhanced.

On the undercard, James DeGale earned the chance to face Froch after beating Brandon Gonzales in a fourth-round stoppage.

The victory means DeGale is now the mandatory IBF challenger to the super-middleweight title.

DeGale said: "I did exactly what I wanted to do tonight, which was put in a performance."

Earlier, Olympic gold medallist Anthony Joshua powered to six wins from six professional fights with a first-round blow-out of Matt Legg.

Contextual targeting label: 
Sport

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.

237397