Carl Froch vs. George Groves: May 31 Rematch Marks Big Night for British Boxing

Dan BrettContributor IIIMarch 4, 2014

Wembley provides the backdrop for Froch vs. Groves.
Wembley provides the backdrop for Froch vs. Groves.Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

As controversy marred Carl Froch's victory over George Groves in November, calls of a rematch have been rife in the months following the bout at Manchester Arena.

That rematch, which is set to take place on May 31 at Wembley Stadium, affords Froch the chance to retain his WBA and IBF super middleweight titles against Groves for a second time, per Sky Sports.

Dubbed as the biggest night in British boxing history by many, the fight will take on huge significance. England's football home will be redressed for boxing purposes, and there's no love lost between the two fighters.

BT Sport reporter Darren Fletcher also tweeted about the importance of the fight—and the venue:

Froch, who agreed to the fight after fierce negotiations, has everything to lose. Meanwhile, Groves looks for revenge after defeat in the first bout, which was marred by a stoppage-time controversy.

But Froch is not letting the fight get to him just yet, reveling in the magnitude of the match ahead, which could see the highest ever attendance in British boxing.

Per BBC Sport's Ben Dirs, the biggest post-World War II attendance to date was Ricky Hatton vs. Juan Lazcano at the City of Manchester Stadium in 2008, which raked in 55,000 fans.

This fight, though, could see a capacity crowd at the national stadium, which excites the Nottingham-born boxer. In an interview with Sky Sports News (h/t The Independent's Jack De Menezes), Froch said:

For me to be involved in an event like this is a very proud moment. With it being in the capital city as well, it just makes the whole history of the event phenomenal. It's fantastic because Wembley Stadium's massive.

What's it going to hold, potentially 70,000, 80? If we did sell that, that would be phenomenal. Talk about making history, to go to a stadium like Wembley for such a big boxing match. Everybody's interested and it needs to be held at a big stadium really.

The 36-year-old then took to Twitter to express his excitement of the second bout with Groves:

But Groves, steely as ever, was quick to point out his lack of nerves as the fight, and chance to redeem himself, was unveiled. He told The Guardian's Kevin Mitchell:

I don't think anything affects my nerves. If I'm confident in my ability to do something, I never get nervous about it. If I was to get up and try to sing in front of 50,000 people, I'd fall to pieces.

But boxing, I find it really comfortable. Any fight, if you prepare correctly and you're ready for it, you should be just there to enjoy it. And I really do enjoy it. I wasn't nervous at all for the last fight.

Some times when you're fighting, the best nights are at York Hall, because the fans are right on top of you and they sound just as loud as at the MEN [now the Phones 4U Arena in Manchester, where they last fought]. Obviously, if we can sell out Wembley, it's going to great. I'm not going to be one bit nervous. I don't know about Carl.

If Froch is to reign supreme once again, he will have to start the fight in much better style than the first bout, where he was floored by Groves in the first round.

Momentum is everything in boxing, and a bad start, in front of a bumper Wembley crowd, could be enough to derail either fighter's chances of winning.

That exact momentum saw Froch turn things around in Manchester. He will be hoping that the referee sees the bout through to the finish this time around in order to avoid any further controversy.

Froch has twice lost his WBC super middleweight title, with defeats against Denmark's Mikkel Kessler and United States' Andre Ward.

But he won't want to lose it again—especially not against the man who has built a formidable rivalry with him over the past 12 months.