By Keith Idec
George Groves’ ability to conquer Carl Froch remains a source of great debate, but Groves clearly has matched the brash Froch’s trademark confidence.
Groves promised during a news conference in London to dominate Froch in their highly anticipated super middleweight championship rematch Saturday. A capacity crowd of about 80,000 – a post-war record for boxing, according to British media outlets – is expected to fill storied Wembley Stadium for a historic British sporting event HBO will broadcast live in the United States at 4 p.m. ET.
“Round [by] round, I will get better and better,” Groves said. “And it’s up to Carl to hang in there. I can go 12 rounds. If need be, I can go more. I’m in fantastic shape. I’m going to be out there straight into my rhythm, straight into my groove and it’s going to be one-sided from the start, much like the last fight.”
The 26-year-old Groves (19-1, 15 KOs) floored Froch (32-2, 23 KOs) with a picture-perfect right hand to the middle of Froch’s face with just less than 20 seconds to go in the first round of their first fight Nov. 23 in Manchester, England. Froch recovered, made the fight competitive and eventually stopped Groves in the ninth round of a scheduled 12-rounder for Froch’s IBF and WBA 168-pound crowns.
The stoppage was widely considered controversial because referee Howard Foster halted the action while Groves, though hurt, remained on his feet, throwing punches. Nottingham’s Froch initially dismissed the need for a rematch with London’s Groves, who’s 10 years younger than him, but intense public demand made Froch reconsider.
“There’s been plenty of questions since the last fight,” Groves said. “There were questions before the first fight about my ability. I think there always will be. Maybe that’s what makes me slightly endearing or a bit curious or a bit weird. You’ll see as complete a performance as possible on Saturday night. I think, certainly, a lot of people will sit up and take note. And I plan to arrive. As I say, I’m going to arrive – not just here in Britain, across the world, as a legitimate world champion, someone to be feared and someone to be chased. I’m going to bring the titles back to London. I want to be a great ambassador for British boxing on the world stage. For me, it all starts Saturday night.”
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.