The masses will be out at Wembley on Saturday, to see if George Groves can finish what he started the last time he and Carl Froch clashed, or if the more seasoned vet can adapt to the speed and pressure of Groves, and get an uncontroversial W this time.
The two Brits collided on Nov. 23, 2013, and most folks thought that young Groves would not be able to hang with the vet carrying the IBF and WBA super middle crowns. Entering at 19-0, sure, Groves possessed traits that you could admire, but he couldn't better the 32-1 Nottingham boxer-puncher, could he? Oh, but he could, and did, for round after round. Groves' hand speed was something which bothered Froch immensely. Froch hit the deck in round one in Manchester, and had to weather a couple storms, and roar back to round nine, when he buzzed Groves badly, which forced ref Howard Foster to step in.Howard Effin' Foster, as he is referred to in and around Nottingham...
Yes, uproars ensued.
Many thought the stoppage premature, egregiously so. Groves, who was answering back, who wasn't seeming to have that slack-necked look of a man out on his feet, sure as heck did, and he picked up a boatload of fans with the effort.
Whether or not you are the sort who'd rather a ref hop in a tick too early, or do believe that Groves wasn't adequately defending himself against an out for blood Froch, is now immaterial. We head to the rematch, Saturday, which we in the States can watch on HBO, and ponder how this re-do will look.
Boxing Channel chief Al Bernstein is looking forward to the tangle, and had kind words for the 26-year-old Londoner, Groves, in a preview video posted to Boxing Channel and his rival.
Hall of Famer Bernstein, in fact, sees the sequel as being "a real stunner."
Bernstein, by the way, thought the Foster stoppage was bigtime premature, but smartly points out that the controversy made this second bout much, much bigger.
Readers, what say you? Go out on a limb...
Me, I love the sense of snarliness in the air, the mood pregnant with barely-contained seething, as seen in this promo clip, from the Sky version of "Face Off."
Do expect Froch, who turns 37 on July 2, to be a shade slower, even more susceptible to getting clipped clean by Groves? Or did Froch truly, as he noted, under-prepare mentally and physically for GG, and will he bring his true A game to Wembley? Talk to us, in our fabulous Forum!
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