Boxing has another stinker on its hands.
Carl “The Cobra” Froch (32-2, 23 KO) was literally handed a TKO win over George Groves (19-1), thanks to the most inept job of refereeing you’ll ever see. Referee John Foster stopped the bout in the ninth round after Froch stunned Groves with a hard combination. Groves was indeed hurt, but the stoppage was terribly premature.
When you consider that Groves had dropped Froch in the first round, controlled the rest of the fight and had never been on the canvas, the stoppage was inexplicable. Froch was allowed to hold on to his WBA and IBF super middleweight titles. There is a possibility he would have stopped Groves, but the challenger earned the right to fight longer.
The result outraged the crowd and broadcast team for Sky Sports, which included English fighters David Haye and Amir Khan.
Boos cascaded from the fans in the Phones 4U Arena in Manchester after Foster stepped in and the official decision was announced.
Groves clearly outfought Froch for most of the fight. On my scorecard, I had him up 77-74 heading into the ninth round. Had Groves remained on his feet after the round, Froch still would have been down by two points.
After the fight, Froch was surly and perhaps less than honest when he talked about the conclusion. Amidst the boos from the crowd, The Cobra was dismissive about the referee's decision and continued to deliver backhanded insults to his opponent.
Immediately after the fight, Froch wouldn't even shake Groves' hand. That was the behavior of a man who knew he'd been given a gift.
Groves was visibly upset after the fight. He became emotional as he sat next to Froch at ringside to discuss the night’s events. The crowd had gone from berating him as he entered the ring to cheering him on with every post-fight word.
Obviously, a rematch is going to be in high demand.
It is hard to blame Froch for this mess of a result. After all, he didn’t make the choice to stop the fight, but when a fighter is the beneficiary of such a controversial decision by a referee, he’s going to become the villain in the eyes of fans.
A rematch could be entertaining, but it won’t right the wrong that occurred on Saturday night.
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