Carl Froch stayed patient, and let George Groves jab and jab some more, dictate the range, slide left and right...and then dropped a right hand hammer in round eighth at Wembley Arena in England. The ref didn't bother to count, as Groves, touched on the chin in a bad way, wasn't even halfway there. The medics gave him oygen, as he sat in his corner, a beaten man, no hint of controversy.
A left hook was a throwaway, and the right behind it landed on the chin, as Groves threw a left hook counter, too slow, in that fateful eighth. The left hook was wide, slow and an invitation for the crackerjack right.
Froch went 96-349 to 126-314 for the loser.
Froch entered with the IBF and the WBA 168-pound crowns.
About 80,000 fans packed in to see the scrap, and US fans watched it on HBO. Froch (age 36; 32-2 entering; from Nottingham) was 167.9, while Groves (age 26; 19-1 entering; from London) was 166.4 at the weigh-in.
They clashed last November, with Groves having luck early, but getting buzzed, and stopped out, controversially, in round nine.
In the first, Groves landed snappier jabs to start. Froch looked a quarter step behind the kid. In the second, groves kept on a jabbing. They rassled and Groves went to the mat, at 1:40. A left hook from Groves caught Froch coming in.
In the third, the crowd hooted some. Then Froch and Groves both landed hard. Froch was being too respectful and Groves' left hook clipped him a couple times.
In the fourth, Groves kept moving, threw combos, as Froch kept his gun holstered too much. Groves' mobility edge helped when Froch got close. Froch did land a couple body shots, not something we'd seen much of.
In the fifth, Froch landed a couple power shots, and got happier. But Groves, when he dictated distance, was winning the round. Then some trading occurred, and that made Froch happier. It was Froch's best round.
In the sixth, Groves did better at keeping a distance between them. The length of his jab was solid in this round. Froch tried to pounce but the mobile Groves slid away. In the seventh, a left hook backed up Froch two steps. A right by Froch in the last minute landed clean. Another right lead by Froch maybe stole the round for him.
In the eighth, the jabbathon continued. A one-two by GG, then another, and his jabs were working. Then a right dropped Groves, and he looked out of it, and the ref pulled the plug. No count needed. His left leg was folded underneath him, and he looked loopy as he got up.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV