Heartbreak for Groves in world title clash

George Groves’ world title bid ended in a hugely controversial defeat against Carl Froch in Manchester when he was stopped in the ninth round.

The Hammersmith man was on the verge of taking the WBA and IBF super-middleweight champion’s belts after flooring him with a thunderous right towards the end of the first round.

Groves dominated the following rounds, hurting Froch with more heavy punches that had the 36-year-old in real trouble.

But with Froch appearing to turn the screw as Groves began to tire, referee Howard Foster stepped in and stopped the bout as the challenger wobbled but appeared to be more than capable of continuing.

Froch, renowned for his phenomenal punch resistance, was badly shaken – arguably for the first time in his career – after being sent to the canvas towards the end of an opening round in which Groves did exactly what he promised to do.

Having vowed to win the battle of the jabs and land with right hands at will in the early stages, Groves was as good as his word.

With Froch visibly struggling, Groves consistently had his opponent on the back foot before finally having to give ground in a fifth round in which the favourite began to have some success.

Groves had a brilliant sixth, detonating several dynamite right hands on the target as he appeared to be close to victory.

But Froch, ever the warrior, got through with two big shots in the eighth and Groves was beginning to enter dangerous territory.

Hurt again in the following round and staggering after being caught on the temple, Groves was perhaps beginning to unravel against a man known for his strong finishes.

But the Londoner, 25, was defending himself and looked in control of his senses when Foster bizarrely grabbed him in a headlock and waved the fight off.

Groves had been losing his grip on the fight but had every reason to protest bitterly at the decision.

The defeat is the first of his 20-fight professional career but enhanced his reputation.

Having entered the ring to boos after his outspoken comments in the build-up, he left it to cheers as the crowd made their disgust clear.



Follow West London Sport on Twitter
Find us on Facebook