George Groves’ second attempt to become world champion ended in a crushing loss to Carl Froch, who flattened him in the eighth round of their rematch at Wembley.
The Hammersmith man, controversially stopped in round nine after dominating much of the fight when he took on Froch in November, was comprehensively beaten this time around.
Last time out he floored the WBA and IBF super-middleweight champion in a blistering first round, but this time Froch was much more effective with his jab and gave Groves problems from the outset.
An 80,000 crowd saw Groves, 26, enter on the upper deck of an open-topped London bus, while the 36-year-old champion’s no-frills ring entrance signaled a focused and ruthless display.
He shook Groves with a powerful right in the fifth but the challenger regrouped and, after a seventh round in which he brought the left hook into play and twice stung Froch, seemed to be finding his range.
But the contest came to a sudden and devastating conclusion in the following round when Groves was laid out by a savage right, prompting the referee to stop the fight without bothering to complete a count.