Wembley stadium is the venue for the eagerly anticipated re-match between Carl Froch and George Groves on the 31st May. The chosen venue sets up the fight to be the biggest in British Boxing history with up to 80,000 expected at the home of football next weekend.
The first fight between the pair ended in controversy with the referee stopping the fight in the 9th after deciding that Groves was un-fit to carry on. Most believed that the stoppage was premature with Groves dominating the early stages of the fight and the calls for a re-match started seconds after that first bout had ended in such unsatisfactory fashion.
Going into the first fight, Carl Froch was the massive odds-on favourite but while he did come out on top on that occasion, the market is much more competitive this time around. Groves proved last time that he is a world class operator as he dominated the much older Champion for long periods before finally coming under pressure as the rounds went on.
Groves landed a massive right-hand in the first round of the first fight to leave Froch on his backside and the ease with which he caught the Cobra that night will surely be in the minds of both fighters ahead of the re-match.
The betting for the re-match is certainly a lot closer but Froch is still the favourite at the moment with 8/13 the best odds about the World Champ winning the fight by any method. That is a short enough price thoguh given the way the first fight went but Froch fans will point to the fact that their man has the experience and the chin to handle Groves, as he ultimately did in the first fight last November.
Groves shocked the boxing world with his performance against Froch in November with the man from London outclassing the Cobra for large parts of that fight. He showed a superb array of speed and skill to put the champ under pressure and he will be hoping he can do that again at Wembley. There is no doubt that Groves was comfortably in front when the fight was stopped in the 9th round but ultimately he came away with a loss, which might still be nagging away at the back of his mind.
Howard Foster jumped in with Groves backed up on the ropes under pressure from Froch and it was disappointing that the Londoner wasn’t given the chance to recover from that attack, which was the same chance Froch was afforded in the first round.
Doubts do remain about the ability of Groves to withstand any sustained pressure from Carl Froch and that is reflected in the latest show of betting for the re-match. Punters wanting to back the ‘The Saint’ to win the fight by any method can currently get a price of 5/4.
The fight is already a sell out and viewing figures on Sky Box Office are expected to break new records. In terms of a live audience, this fight is expected to have the biggest attendance since the war, with the Chris Eubank v Nigel Benn clash at Old Trafford in the early 90s the closest match-up in recent memory when it comes to an all-British fight.
Picking a winner from this fight is frighteningly difficult with any certainty which is exactly the reason why it is such an eagerly anticipated bout. Froch did come out on top last time and his reputation and experience means that he does deserve to be the slight favourite when it comes to the betting market.
The Cobra did take a worrying amount of punishment during that first fight though and given that he is now 36 years of age, he is certainly not going to have got any better before this fight. Groves is the younger and fresher man and is taken to get his revenge on the 31st May.