By Edward Chaykovsky
Paddy Fitzpatrick, trainer of super middleweight contender George Groves, says IBF/WBA 'regular' champion Carl Froch was forced to take the rematch with his fighter. The date has been set for May 31, with a venue being worked out.
They met last August in a fight where Groves came very close to unseating the champion. After dropping Froch in the first round and then outfighting him in several others, Froch rallied in the later rounds and had Groves in trouble. The referee jumped in quick and stopped the fight. Groves was furious, claiming a quick stoppage, and filed a protest with the IBF. The sanctioning body agreed with his complaint and ordered a rematch.
“He is not giving George this opportunity,” said Fitzpatrick to the Swindon Advertiser. “Carl is in a fight he doesn’t want to be in with a coach that doesn’t want him in the fight.
“He took a lot of punishment in that first fight. He went into that fight believing that all he had to do was hit George on the chin and he would go and that George wasn’t ready for him in any shape or form.
“He went back to the changing room after the last fight knowing he had been out-fought, out-gunned and out-boxed repeatedly for nine rounds. He’s going to have a lot of emotions to deal with in this next fight.
“Rob McCracken in the first fight would have believed and, possibly rightly so, that this is a 12-round fight and Carl does 12 better than George because he has been here longer. That’s okay but now he is going into this fight. This second time is totally different.”