This is my 50th post on this blog, I could not have picked a better fight to preview for this milestone…
Whatever happened to Lemar? Anyone know………
I’m sure Keith Thurman is an extra in that video…
So the time for talking is done, no more press conferences or interviews for the fighters which no doubt they are delighted about.
I was present at the weigh-in today and both men looked in ridiculous condition. Froch always sports an 8 pack but Groves for the first time in my memory was ripped.
Wembley Arena was littered with posters carrying the slogan “I am part of history” accompanied with a picture of each fighter competing and their opponent.
The weigh-in was packed, it felt American; big and brash with the addition of a raucous terrace crowd
Mayweather v Canelo “The One” was the real trail-blazer of weigh-ins to create a huge public turnout, designed to really stir and stimulate your senses prior to the main event
Courtesy of IFLTV
A few words were exchanged but the most dramatic thing to occur was heated words between a security guard working for Matchroom and one of Groves’ personal entourage.
I believe this week it has finally dawned on them both the sheer magnitude and spectacle of Saturday 31st May, and the stakes could not be higher.
As a fan, I have no idea what to expect, the atmosphere will be a pure one off you can’t train or mentally prepare yourself for something no one has ever experienced.
Judging by the respective receptions both men received today, I expect the crowd to be 60-40 possibly 70-30 for Groves.
So how will fight go?
It has been the hardest fight to call, few people have a definitive winner, opinions have changed more than Piers Morgan towards Arsene Wenger, minus of course the fickle natured tweets.
I’ve imagined this fight in my head countless times this week, weighed up all possible intangibles and this is what each man needs to do to win.
George is technically one of the best boxers in the Super Middle-Weight division, he announced himself in the last encounter 6 months ago to the world as an elite fighter. But what does he need to do different?
For me, tighten up defensively is the first thing. On numerous occasions in the first fight, his hands were low making him susceptible to counter-punches. As the 26 yr old began to tire, the hands were fully by his waist as he proceeded to slug with The Cobra before the “stoppage”.
Despite his public proclamations of KO’ing Froch in 3, I will be astounded if he boxes that way. I’m expecting a much tighter encounter from both men.
I expect St GG to box on the back-foot and bank the first 5 rounds at a canter. Getting behind the jab, keeping Froch at range and evading trading.
Where the fight hangs for me delicately in the balance is Groves’ stamina.
He looks in career-best condition, low body-fat and that clearly is a testament to the addition of a conditioning coach purely focused on developing stamina in the latter stages.
If Groves’ petrol light comes on in the 8/9th round, I fear for him.
Carl Froch is Ronseal of boxing, he does exactly what he says on the tin.
He is a tough bastard, great chin and even at the ripe age of 36 he is in better shape than most 21 year olds.
The Cobra is guaranteed to still be standing and throwing shots right up until the final bell, he has spoken numerous times that he wishes it was still 15 championship rounds.
I draw comparisons with a group of young boys in the summer still playing football at 9.45pm as the sun is setting, refusing to give-in and let the darkness halt their 5-a-side match.
Froch is the same, he would be in his element left on a pitch black Wembley at midnight punching holes in Groves. Carl is a fantastic fighter, but he is not a boxer in the purest of form.
The Cobra needs to make this into a gritty fight, get Groves in to scrap, make him slug with him in the centre of the ring, I feel it is the only way he can beat him.
The 36 yr old is unable to out-box Groves. He would not have all of a sudden developed slick footwork, a crisp jab and the ability to slip shots.
He needs to stick to what he does best and fight, rather than trying to do something completely out of his comfort zone and end up chasing shadows for 36 minutes.
Having seen footage this week of Froch sparring Chris Eubank Jnr, who I felt in stages man-handled him with speed and combos I’m now convinced he is on the decline.
I’m backing Groves to box patiently and with plenty of movement. I expect Froch to come strong in the 10th, but despite weathering a late storm that will draw gasps from the crowd and audience at home, I expect a Unanimous Decision (8 rounds to 4 or 9 rounds to 3) culminating in the crowning of the next British superstar.
But I stress the key is Groves’ discipline and stamina. If he runs out of steam, we will see a brutal late stoppage from Froch.