By Terence Dooley
George Groves will have to accept the regular challenger’s share of the purse after the IBF today upheld the 85-15% purse split in Froch's favour for Groves’s mooted rematch with the titlist, which the sanctioning body ordered last week following the Londoner’s appeal
'The IBF Board of Directors voted unanimously to keep the purse split at 85/15 in favor of Froch,' stated the IBF when confirming the news to BoxingScene, so Groves now has to accept the decision, appeal or try to use the IBF's prior ruling to carve out a bigger slice of the pie while negotiating privately with Team Froch.
Groves and his legal team successfully argued that referee Howard Foster stopped the fight too early, and while he was trying to evade Froch’s punches, and the governing body agreed with the fighter’s assessment of the stoppage during last week’s meeting. IBF rules, though, state that if a fighter is outside the top three, he has to accept their standard purse split, as outlined by Rule 10.E of their championship regulations.
While the IBF were undertaking their investigation into the fight’s conclusion, Eddie Hearn, Froch’s promoter, made what Froch referred to as a substantial seven-figure rematch offer to Groves. Groves knocked this offer back, arguing that he doesn’t want to give Matchroom future fight options, and seemed vindicated when the IBF ruled in his favor.
Now, though, he will have to either accept the IBF’s latest decision or seek more legal advice. Should Groves agree to abide by today’s verdict, the parties will be allowed a negotiation period, but, should they fail to agree terms by February 8th, the fight will go out to purse bids, and the split will remain heavily weighted in the champion’s favor.
It is another twist in the torturous road to a rematch that most British fans want to see, although the more pragmatic amongst them recognise that Froch Vs Julio Cesar Chavez Junior in Las Vegas on HBO is an appealing alternative option for “The Cobra”. However, the parties are certainly closer to a return than they were following November’s night of controversy, or the night of the correct referee call, depending on your perspective.
Groves, 19-1 (15), has his sights firmly locked on Froch, 32-2 (23), and today’s decision means that he will take home less money, but will hold the keys to his own future, should he decide to accept the IBF’s ruling and move on with negotiations or allow it to go to purse bids.
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