By Sheldan Keay
Carl Froch retained his WBA and IBF super-middleweight titles after knocking out George Groves in front of 80,000 fans at Wembley Stadium.
Froch landed a devastating right hook after 2:34 of round eight to finish his opponent without any controversy this time around.
It ends the bitter rivalry that the pair have shared with each other for nearly 12 months, and Froch was delighted to walk out as the victor.
“I’m feeling unbelievably elated, this is the best moment in my career,” he said.
“I’ve been in magnificent fights against top world champions, but this is by far the biggest and best crowd I’ve ever boxed in front of.
“George Groves should be proud, I’ve been in with the best fighters, and I was neck and neck with George Groves.
“It only takes one punch to finish a fight, and that’s a punch that I’ve got. Unfortunately for George he was on the end of a big right hand.
“I didn’t rush in. I was calm and composed like I said I would be. I concentrated and I focused. The game plan was executed perfectly. I’ve been in 13 world title fights on the spin against the best fighters in the world, and the ending showed why I’ve been in the mix for many years.
“I will never top boxing here in front of 80,000 people. Thanks to the British fans. It’s the proudest moment of my career.”
While Groves initially attempted to protest the stoppage, he conceded that the right decision had been made.
“Fair play to Carl, he caught me, that’s boxing,” he said.
“I felt I was doing well in the fight, I was in my groove and boxing well, but I have to hold my hands up.
“I’ll come back bigger and better. Ultimately I think I let myself down. I’d love to come again, I was ahead on the scorecards and I’ll be pushing hard to get my next world title shot.
“Congratulations to Carl, he landed his punch and I give him all the best.”
Groves started the fight well, repeatedly landing his jab throughout the first round. Both men attempted to throw big shots, with neither finding any real success, but the jab proved to be a constant weapon for Groves throughout round one.
It was more of the same in round two, with Groves again throwing out his jab to try and isolate Froch. A clinch between both men resulted in Groves hitting the canvas, but he was forced down with the arm of Froch, resulting in referee Charlie Fitch warning the Nottingham boxer. Groves ended the round strongly, landing a good combination while Froch was stepping in.
Round three proved to be a tight affair, with both men exchanging big shots to start the round. Froch began to utilise his jab more from this point onwards, catching Groves on a number of occasions.
Round four saw Groves again trying to dictate the fight with his jab. He was able to catch Froch while he was coming forward, before a wild exchanged began between both men. Neither man landed anything significant, but Froch ended the round strongly by unloading a number of body shots with Groves up against the ropes.
Round five appeared to be the round of the fight, with both men troubling their opponent at different stages. Froch was able to corner Groves before landing a series of combinations. Groves managed to escape, before landing a big hook of his own that forced the Cobra back. Chaos soon unfolded seconds later as the two competitors began to exchange, with both chins being tested. The round ended with Groves forcing Froch back onto the ropes, before 80,000 fans provided a standing ovation.
Froch came on strong in round six, landing a big shot that appeared to trouble Groves in the opening stages of the round. Froch continued to come forward, landing several shots, but Groves fired back with a number of shots of his own to end the round.
Round seven was another contender for round of the fight, with Groves landing a fierce left hook that wobbled Froch. Groves pushed forward and got hit with a few shots himself, with Froch forcing his opponent onto the ropes and landing a few shots. Groves rebounded, and landed a right hook that again looked to hurt Froch, but the Cobra’s determination wouldn’t be outdone, coming back again at the end of a fierce round.
Round eight was where the fight ended, and Froch was pushing forward throughout the majority of the period. He was able to land his jab on Groves before forcing him back on to the ropes. An attempted left hook from Froch went astray, but that was soon followed up with a devastating right that sent Groves crashing to the canvas.
The referee began to count, but he quickly waved off the contest with Groves laid out on the mat. The challenger got back to his feet before briefly attempting to protest the stoppage, but it was clear to all that the right decision had been made.
The victory for Froch takes his professional record to 33 wins and two defeats from his 35 contests, with 24 of those victories coming inside the distance.
Groves has now suffered back to back defeats against Froch, with his record now standing at 19 wins and two defeats.