As we edge closer and closer to the second coming Carl Froch vs George Groves, next Saturday, in front of 80,000 fanatical fans at Wembley Stadium, it is nearly time for all the talking to stop and the action to begin.
Although the build up to the much anticipated second fight has been fascinating and full of intrigue- the intensity between the two men seems to have increased since the first fight!- as a boxing fan, who places more merit on action than words, I am delighted that both men will soon get down to business in the ring.
(Full Fight Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1xvFXxe-c14)
In many respects the pre-fight hype has been much the same, only this time Carl Froch is far more composed, and seems a lot more comfortable in the company of George Groves. For his part, Groves is once again full of confidence. The young challenger is constantly posing questions about Froch’s lack of ability and boxing skills, while simultaneously stating his conviction that he is ready to put the controversy of the last fight to bed and conquer the champion on his own terms: by ‘knocking Carl Froch out’.
Whilst it is refreshing to see such confidence pour out like sweat from the pores of Groves, his unwavering belief that he has Froch’s number has led me to believe that Groves’ delusions about what he thinks happened in the first fight has unleashed his grip on reality of how the rematch will unfold.
He has stated repeatedly that he is superior in every department, that he dominated the first fight, and was simply the victim of a mugging by the referee who robbed him of glory against Froch.
You simply cannot argue with many of Groves’ convictions: he outclassed Carl Froch for the vast majority of the fight and did look superior in almost every department. But the caveat to Groves’ success is that in spite of being so dominant for the majority of the fight he was incapable of finishing Froch off.
Paradoxically, the success he had in the first fight may well come back to haunt him in the rematch. In placing such emphasis on the premature stoppage and the positive aspects of his performance in the 1st fight, Groves seems to have totally erased the stamina issues he suffered from his psyche. The young challenger has also conveniently forgotten that he relinquished control of the fight before the contentious ending. Although Groves was still enjoying tremendous success, and was arguably still winning the rounds by getting the better of the exchanges, there was a tangible change in the trajectory of fight from the 7th round onwards.
Groves was showing signs that the accumulation of punishment he was taking was beginning to have a compelling effect on him at the point at which the damage caused by his punches on Carl Froch were beginning to plateau.
Yet in the build up to the rematch, Groves has focused exclusively on the controversial ending to the action whilst continually calling Carl Froch out on his shortcomings. There has been no acknowledgement from Groves of his failings or his flaws in the first fight, which begs the question: could George Groves’ delusions be his downfall in the next fight?
Much has been made about Carl Froch seeking the services of a sports psychologist in order to combat the psychological issues he suffered from in the build-up to their 1st encounter. But has George Groves made the same concerted effort to sort out the physical imperfections of his game?
Lest we forget, as the first fight edged closer to the championship rounds it was the 25 year old Groves who was falling victim to fatigue, not the 36 year old Carl Froch. In fact, towards the end, you could have been forgiven for thinking Groves was the older man by over a decade. Just as Froch was beginning to bloom, young Groves’ engine was blowing up.
Although the first fight offered conclusive evidence that Groves is the better boxer, the way the action unfolded also proved that George Groves cannot handle the pace he set in the first half of the bout for the duration of a 12 round fight. Unfortunately for Groves, fighting to the end is Carl Froch’s forte.
Unless Groves can remained disciplined throughout and stick rigidly to the game plan of boxing Carl Froch from range, don’t be surprised if the rematch unfolds in a similar manner and ends in the same way as the 1st fight. Only the controversial stoppage will be replaced by a ‘natural conclusion’ in the closing stages of a fight that Groves dominates with class, but Froch decides with killer instinct.
Prediction: Carl Froch 10th Round Knockout
BN24 Fans: What will the result of the rematch be?
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