By Terence Dooley
London's George Groves has reiterated his belief that he can take WBA and IBF Super middleweight titlist Carl Froch out in three rounds at Wembley Stadium on Saturday night as well as stating that the dispute over referee Charlie Fitch wasn't down to him. The 26-year-old told Sky Sports News that he is relishing the build-up to the Eddie Hearn-promoted fight, which will be shown live on Sky Sports PPV, and that Froch will not be able to repeal his attacks this time around.
The first fight ended in controversy when Groves was stopped on his feet in the ninth by referee Howard Foster. Groves, 19-1 (15), is enjoying the lead up to the rematch; he believes it is the biggest U.K. fight in recent years and has not seen anything like it during his time in the sport. "I think there's no one you can speak to who has experienced this, not in my lifetime and boxing in front of so many fans," said Groves when speaking to Sky Sports News.
"I've boxed in front of three big crowds and never let the occasion get to me. It's about containing my excitement. I'll be excited on fight night, but will stick to the job in hand."
Indeed, Groves is so confident that he has stuck to his prediction of a third-round stoppage win. Although he was also at pains to stress that he is ready to go the full 12 rounds, if required.
"If Carl is in better shape or does withstand the punishment for six-rounds then it's just going to get worse and worse for him as I settle into the bout," he said. "At the end of the last fight, I was in far better condition than Carl was, so I'm not worried at all about conditioning and can go more than 12 rounds if I need to. But the fact of the matter is I don't think Carl will go past three.
"Technically, in a purely boxing sense, I beat Carl Froch every day of the week. If he falls apart mentally, so be it. If he needs to coach himself not to fall apart then I wish him the best of luck there, too. Everything for a reason. He should always look at himself in the mirror and think: 'I feel good today, why do I feel good? Have I been allowed to feel good?' because nothing's left to chance with me. We're in fight week now, he needs to understand that his destiny is dawning. Saturday night is fast approaching and he needs to get himself up for this fight, and for that I wish him luck because he's in a fight he can't winI won't allow him to win."
There was time for some fight week drama when news leaked out that Groves had attempted to have American referee Charlie Fitch replaced as the fight's third man. Groves, though, insisted that he had right of approval over the officials so the Fitch hitch was a non-issue despite widespread reports to the contrary.
"There's plenty of reports theses days," answered Groves when asked about the issue. "The fact of the matter is that we have right of approval over the officials. If we didn't want a particular referee then than referee wouldn't be working on Saturday night. The first referee put forward by the IBF was Jack Reiss, but Carl Froch or Matchroom, I'm not sure which one of the two, objected to that. We wanted a strong ref. I concentrate on training and have a team around me, if they're happy with Charlie Fitch then I certainly am."
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