The most highly anticipated rematch in England's boxing scene—and one of the biggest in the sport in any region—has been set for May 31 on Sky Sports Box Office.
WBA and IBF super middleweight champion Carl "The Cobra" Froch will again defend his titles against his rival "Saint" George Groves, as confirmed by Sky Sports:
Carl Froch to fight George Groves in rematch exclusively live on Sky Sports Box Office on May 31 #SSN— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) February 13, 2014
Groves posted a statement directed at Froch days after the announcement was made:
According to Jeff Powell of The Daily Mail, the English combatants will likely renew acquaintances in an English football stadium, although the venue is yet to be confirmed.
Chelsea's Stamford Bridge is Groves' preference, but Manchester United's historic home grounds of Old Trafford, Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium and Upton Park at West Ham are being considered.
The two men first met in Nov. 2013 where Froch won, but his victory was shrouded in controversy. Groves dominated the early portion of the fight. He even floored Froch in the first round.
The challenger looked to be a little fatigued in the ninth round and Froch took advantage. The champion hurt Groves, but it didn't look as if the latter was in extreme peril. Referee Howard John Foster called an end to the bout as Groves attempted to retreat from Froch's onslaught.
Here are the waning moments of the bout:
The decision to stop the fight was questionable to say the least. Powell himself said this in his recap of the fight:
The sell-out crowd in the Manchester Arena were robbed of the climax to a magnificently brutal fight and let the third man in the ring know it, roaring: ‘The referee’s a w*****.'
Justice was denied, also.
Froch, although grateful, acknowledged as much when he agreed that Groves deserves a re-match.
Finally, that rematch is on the way.
The Cobra is 36 years old and looking to wrap up his career in a tight little bow. Per Powell, Froch seems content with the agreement and excited about his plans to finish his career.
The two dream fights for me before I retire are one at the City Ground, then the other in Las Vegas. So it looks like they’re both coming true.
After I’ve beaten Groves again – but this time clinically – and put him behind me for good I will then get my big night on the Vegas strip.
That "Vegas strip" dream fight could be a rematch with Andre Ward, whom Froch lost to decisively in Dec. 2011. That fight is the last loss on Froch's record, and the only unavenged defeat he's ever suffered in his career.
The negotiations for the rematch were anything but smooth. The two camps haggled over the purse specifics, but the details have finally been hammered out.
Groves has contended from the beginning that the first fight shouldn't have been stopped. He talks about it in depth in the interview posted by The Daily Mail's YouTube account below.
This fight is the rare English fighting attraction that will be of a major interest to serious boxing fans in the United States. A win by Froch would launch him even more into the consciousness of American fight followers.
It would be the perfect setup for a rematch with Ward.
If Groves wins, the 25-year-old will have validation for his near miss in 2013. His career will be set for bigger and better things, or perhaps a rubber match with Froch.
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