Froch v Groves ( The fight)

Okay, where to start? Let’s begin at the end. After the fight.

Sometimes to get an idea of how good a fight was you have to look at the faces of the boxers.

Froch’s top lip was so badly swollen that he had trouble speaking. His nose was busted and his right eye bruised. His left eye was irritating him. It was puffy, red and angry. It was obvious he could hardly see out of it. He had a bump and a bruise on his forehead that looked as though he’d run into a wall.

Both of George Groves eyes were bruised and puffed up so much that they looked as though they were about to burst. His face was every colour of the rainbow. There were small lumps and bruises on his forehead and you just knew that he would the headache from hell the next morning.

That’s how good this fight was!

When the first bell rang, Groves took the centre of the ring and dominated Froch. He seemed to be able to connect with punches at will. Froch looked like an amateur against a seasoned professional. Then the unthinkable happened. Groves connected with a great left hand and then a big right. Froch was gone. He was out as he hit the floor. Only instinct got him up again. He wobbled and stumbled back to the ropes. He looked at his corner as if in shock. I honestly don’t think he knew where he was. But like all great champions somehow he pulled himself together. Six seconds later the bell rang for the end of the first round. He stumbled back to his corner.

Groves continued this onslaught in the second. Again, Froch seemed to wobble as he returned to his corner at the end of the round.

Round three was close. You could have given it either way. Froch managed to get in close and landed some good shots. But then so did Groves. If I was generous, I would give the round to Froch. But the bigger and more accurate shots came from Groves.

Groves won round four without a shadow of a doubt. Five was close and maybe, just maybe, Froch won it.

Then came Round six. One of the best rounds ever seen in British boxing. Toe to toe from the bell. Each throwing and landing big punishing knock out punches. Yet somehow neither fighter went down. Hard to separate them, but Groves hurt Froch more than Froch hurt Groves. Round to Groves.

Both fighters looked tired in the seventh but Froch landed more punches. Round to Froch.

The eighth was a gruelling and punishing round for both fighters. Froch was lucky not to have a point deducted as he kept on punching long after the referee had called “break”. All he got was a “telling off ”. It was another great round and difficult to separate them. An even round.

Then we come to the ninth!

By now Groves is well in front. He’s definitely won four of the first seven rounds and one of them by two points. The other three were close and apart from round seven could also have gone Groves’s way.

A minute into round nine and the fists start flying again. There is a close exchange and Froch catches Groves with a close right hand high on the temple. Groves is shaken but keeps going. Froch keeps at him and lands more blows. Groves is hanging on but still throwing punches.

The referee steps in, grabs Groves and stops the fight!

The arena erupts in disgust. Even the Froch fans are in uproar and soon everyone is singing “The referees a wanker”.

A truly great battle ends in controversy. People start talking about “fixes and fiddles” and “brown envelopes” and a “disgrace to boxing”.

My honest opinion now that I’ve had time to watch it again is still that the fight should have been allowed to continue. Usually a referee steps in and stops the fight if the fighter is not returning punches or is unable to defend himself. This was not the case with Groves. He was hanging on but still throwing punches. The referee should have given Groves a standing mandatory count of eight, during which time he could have looked him in his eyes and made a “confident” decision as to whether he could continue or not.

But the referee has to call it as he sees it for the good of the boxer.

The most interesting comments came from Groves manager and also the promoter, Eddie Hearn. In an honest and forthright interview straight after the fight (which was on YouTube yesterday, but seems to have now been taken off!) he said. “From where I was sitting I thought George (Groves) was gone and it was right that the ref stepped in when he did. But after looking at the replay on TV I thought maybe he should have let him continue.”

And that was from a man who had the best seat in the house.

A great fight and a shame it had to end in the manner that it did. Froch should be praised for having one of the best chins in the business and coming back from the jaws of defeat to win a fight that he was losing badly. But today all everyone is talking about is how good George Groves is and how he will beat Froch in a re-match.

I’m not sure if Froch will really want one!



Thanks for the blow by blow,  and from what I can tell, balanced fight report jolono.


Much better account of the fight than I read in The Observer. I can see how you and everyone else would be disgusted that the fight was cut short in that way. Rematches are rarely as good. Funnily, enough, even though I didn't see the fight I'd now fancy Froch.


If I'd written this blog when I got back to the hotel it would have been a scathing attack on the referee for stopping the fight too early. But I watched it again last night and took a "slightly" different approach. I still think Groves should have been allowed to go on, but have some sympathy for the referee who just made a bad call, in my opinion.

The re-match is worth millions.and will probably be held at the 02 here in London. but i'm not sure Froch will want it or really should take it. He took too many big right hands from Groves on Saturday and he's been in too many "wars" in his carreer so far. He's 36 and eleven years older than Groves. It will take him some time to recover from this one. As much as i want to see a re-match, I fear for Froch. Saturday night might just have been the last big war his body can take!


I was busy watching my mate, Vini, on his New York chat show interview Dicky Eklund (Micky Ward's brother - you remember the film 'The Fighter') the guy who knocked Sugar Ray Leonard down although he says it was a slip. But if you realy want to see poor refereeing, watch this short clip when Dicky fought Allen Clarke.

Talk about a ref stepping in too late! Atrocious!    


Wow Karl, taking me back there. Dicky was a good fighter, but it was more of a push that sent leonard over rather than a punch. Now Ward. Great fighter. Ward V Gatti one of the best ever.

My Cousin, Jimmy Batten, fought Duran and lost on points. We were all gutted for him. I met Duran a few years back when Jimmy brought him over for a few after dinner appearances. Legend!


heh. Bbanyard. have a look at the fight on Youtube. One of the best British fights of all time.


In 1982 Kirkland Laing - The Gifted One - flew to Detriot and beat Duran in Ring macazine's 'upset of the year.' Duran earned £6m the following year whilst Laing supposedly went 'missing,' although to this day he still claims he was in the gym, keeping in shape, and waiting for the phone to ring. Laing had a habit of going 'missing' but he was a joy to watch and he still claims the year after the Duran fight wasn't one of them. Micky Ward and Dicky Eklund are close friends of my buddy, Vini, which is how he got Dicky on the show. He's promised me a show anytime I can get the flight money together. I just have to work out whether I'd sell enough books to justify it, even though I now write a weekly column for a newsletter in Copiague, Long Island, New York.         


I read the book last year " The Gifted One". In it he mentions Jimmy. They were both fighting out of the Terry Lawless stable and had a dislike for each other. Lawless came in to the gym one day and found them roling around on the floor having a tear up. Lawless sent them both home like school kids. Jimmy still swears to this day that he was lined up to fight Duran in 1982. Mickey Duff went over to do the deal and when he came back he announced that it would be Laing instead. Jimmy had to wait until later that year to face Duran in Miami Beach and lost a ten round decision.


Its a dirty industry. Read a book earlier this year called Hobo Boxer about an Autralian fighter. They'd tell him he had a fight lined up, get hundreds of rounds of sparring out of him and then the fight wouldn't materialise, and they wouldn't pay him for the sparring. Or he would get a fight but no accommodation, so he'd have to sleep rough the night before the fight. He suffered from seizures, even had them in the ring, but they'd still throw him in to fight someone if they needed a body.

Can't really reccommend the book. I gave it a 3 Star. Anyone who has the courage to climb between the ropes deserves respect, and I felt his life deserved a 4 or even 5 Star, but the book just wasn't that well written.

You can see him on YouTube carrying heavy kit bags and racing three buses down the high street.