By Chris McKenna, courtesy of The Daily Star
CARL FROCH believes a case of pre-fight jitters stopped George Groves pulling off any final wind-up antics ahead of their big fight.
In a surprisingly subdued head-to-head meeting IBF and WBA super-middleweight champion Froch squared off with his challenger at Wembley, 48 hours before their highly-anticipated rematch.
The press conference was expected to be a feisty affair, but it was tame compared to previous pre-fight showdowns between the pair.
"He looked a little bit subdued," said Froch.
"I was expecting him to maybe to bring a bit more to the table and try to gets under my skin.
"I thought he would have one last ditch effort, but I suppose that would have been too predictable."
These two warriors have verbally sparred for weeks about who is going to do what, but when they met yesterday they barely exchanged a word between them.
Before their November clash, Groves described in great detail exactly how he was going to beat Froch.
When the rematch was announced in March, the cocksure Londoner played with a Rubik's cube as the champion spoke and warned him his career was close to ending.
That led to Froch shoving him when they posed for pictures - a sign he was getting under the Nottingham man's skin again.
But there was none of that yesterday from the challenger, who insists he was robbed in the first fight after being controversially stopped by the referee in the ninth round.
Groves did promise it would be a left hook that will finish Froch in this clash, but refused to elaborate like he did for the original fight.
And Froch seemed much calmer than six months ago and is clearly more respectful to the talent that his rival possesses.
The left hook claim did bring a small smirk from Froch, but he was clearly untroubled by his opponent's claim despite the fact Groves carried out the plan he revealed before the first fight almost perfectly.
Groves put his subdued manner down to the fact he feels there is no need antagonise Froch, but the champion thinks otherwise.
"I think he's thought he's lost on the mind games all the way along," the Nottingham fighter added.
"He was subdued, he was quiet - but to me it doesn't matter.
"He's put himself in a position where he's told everyone that the first fight was a stonewall robbery.
"But he knows when he looked in the mirror the following morning, his face was all swollen, he had two black eyes and a swollen lip, and lumps all over his head."
Much has been made of the psychological war between the duo in the build-up to this one after Groves wound Froch up so blatantly first time around.
But sometimes it can be more difficult to cause a stir on the bigger stage which is what Froch found out when he went to America for his first title fight Stateside against Jermain Taylor.
"When I fought Jermain Taylor in my first title defence in America, three months out, I thought it would be all right, I can beat him.
"The week before the fight, you land in America, and it dawns on you that you're fighting Jermain Taylor, he's fast, he hits hard.
"George has already boxed me, but the magnitude of the event potentially could be dawning on him.
"That could be a sign of that with him being so quiet yesterday."