George Groves was knocked out by Carl Froch. | Scott Heavey/Stringer/Getty Images
Carl Froch was awarded a technical knockout win over rival George Groves when they first locked horns last November. The problem was that the win was clouded under a shroud of outrage as most who watched the tussle felt the stoppage came far too early.
Many boxing insiders thought that Groves was robbed, igniting demand for an immediate rematch to settle the score once and for all.
Groves got his second chance with the popular Froch and promised to avenge what was the first loss of his professional career. On Saturday night in front of an estimated 80,000 rabid Brits inside the hallowed Wembley Stadium in London, Groves fought well. Very well, in fact. Groves racked up several of the early rounds using a stiff jab and great head movement, but his success wouldn’t last.
Froch turned up the heat in the fifth round by scoring dozens of thudding hooks to the body, tiring out his nemesis in the process. Groves continued to fight hard against Froch, but the London-based superstar was landing the harder, more effective shots. Finally, during an exchange along the ropes late in the eighth, Froch feinted with a left hook, threw a left and then detonated a concussive right hand square on Groves’ jaw.
The punch immediately sent the Nottingham fighter crashing to the canvas, collapsing his left leg underneath him. Referee Charlie Fitch stopped his count halfway and called off the contest, signaling the end officially at 2:43 of the frame. Groves (19-2, 15 KOs) struggled to his feet while protesting, but he was clearly still out; he was stumbling into the veteran third man and the ropes.
The win likely sealed the deal on what had become a heated hate-hate relationship between the two pugilists. Froch improved to 33-2 with his 24th career knockout and retained his WBA super middleweight title.
Donaire Wins Decision in Cut-Shortened Fracas
In the HBO-televised co-feature from the Cotai Arena in the Venetian Resort in Macau, multi-division world champion Nonito Donaire had to struggle through a badly lacerated left eyelid to score a technical unanimous decision. “The Filipino Flash” captured the WBA featherweight “super” championship from Simpiwe Vetyeka, but after the fight ended with such an anticlimax, the newly-crowned titleholder promised his opponent and the fans an immediate rematch.
Donaire suffered the cut when the two clashed heads at the end of the opening round, the first of several inadvertent head butts. The injury forced referee Luis Pabon to halt the action several times throughout the contest so the ringside physician could monitor the cut. But in between the stoppages, Donaire slowly picked up his pace and seemed to fight a bit more desperately as the wound worsened.
Late in the fourth, Donaire’s vaunted power delivered a sensational knockdown when a perfect counter left hook floored Vetyeka. “V-12” beat the count and survived the stage, but in between rounds four and five, Pabon and the physician felt the laceration was too severe for Donaire to continue, thus ending the fight.
Donaire was granted the unanimous decision (technically) via tallies of 49-46 on all three judges’ cards, but the Filipino was visibly disappointed with how the fight unfolded. Donaire (33-2, 21 KOs) was adamant about giving his South African opponent a rematch as soon as the cut heals. Vetyeka fell to 26-3 with 15 KOs.
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