Froch KO's Groves to retain titles
IBF/WBA super middleweight champion Carl Froch (33-2, 24 KO’s) scored a stunning knockout win over challenger George Groves (19-2, 15 KO’s) in the 8th round on Saturday night at Wembley Stadium in London.
The Nottingham man ended the rematch with a huge right hand, leaving Groves helpless on the canvas.
The fight was a tactical affair for the first 6 rounds with neither man really establishing that they were the better fighter.
The cagey contest started to ignite in the 3rd as Froch found the mark with a hook and stiff jabs. Groves refused to give ground, firing back defiantly with a right hand.
Froch's jab was an accurate weapon, pushing his foe onto the back foot in the 4th, although Groves did catch him with a rare right hand.
But the champion was dictating the contest from the centre of the ring, forcing Groves to take risks. His inexperience was exposed in a rash attack as Froch duly punished him with a barrage of hooks in the 5th.
Stiff jabs continued to dissuade the Hammersmith man in the 6th but in the 7th, Groves tagged Froch with a couple of good shots that really got his attention. Groves dominated that round and looked good.
Groves, suddenly filled with fresh confidence, continued his assault in the 8th, tagging a static Froch with punches before slipping out of range.The younger man, frustrated for so long, seemed ready to take command.
Following a brief flurry of punches, Groves made the huge mistake of backing up to the ropes. Froch seized his chance, sending a big right crashing onto his opponent's chin and flooring him. With Groves slumped down on the canvas, that was enough for the referee Charlie Fitch to stop the fight.
“I’ve been in with some of the best fighters in the world, and it was neck and neck in there,” Froch said. “There was nothing in it, it was a close fight. It was a stand-off, tactical fight and sometimes in professional boxing it only takes one punch. And when you’ve got the punch that I’ve got it just shows that one punch can be all the difference and all it needs. Unfortunately for George he was on the end of a very heavy right hand from a seasoned champion. But we’ve both done ourselves proud tonight.”
Also on the card, James DeGale (19-1, 13 KO’s) defeated American Brandon Gonzales (18-1-1, 10 KO’s) by a 4th round TKO in their IBF super middleweight title eliminator bout.
DeGale dropped Gonzales after a right hook followed by a left sent him crashing to the canvas. He clambered to his feet, but the Harlesden man sensed the finish was near and another left stiffened Gonzales' legs and referee Steve Gray stepped in.
DeGale is now the mandatory challenger for Froch’s IBF belt.
Jamie McDonnell (24-2-1 11KO's) claimed the vacant WBA bantamweight belt after a 10th round stoppage of Thai opponent Tabtimdaeng Na Rachawat (52-3 34 KO's).
The Doncaster man was made to work for the win, suffering a cut amidst an early assault from Na Rachawat, but started to dominate with his superior ring skills and a crisp hook brought the fight to a dramatic halt.
As Na Rachawat threw crude punches, McDonnell uncorked a huge left hook that sent him crashing to the canvas.
He could not beat the count, stumbling against the ropes, and McDonnell was left to celebrate another world title triumph.
McDonnell was crowned as world champion for a second time after he was stripped of the IBF belt for not arranging a mandatory defence last year.
Other results on the card:
Kevin Mitchell W Ghislain Maduma TKO 11
Anthony Joshua W Matt Legg KO 1
Martin Joseph Ward D Ian Bailey TD 1
Gamal Yafai W Jack Heath TKO 1