Part 2 – Love and Legacy: Worth Having; Worth Remembering

As for the other notable rematch being contested, the controversy there was much more visible.

The rhetoric surrounding it, much less convoluted.

Carl Froch vs George Groves II saw 80,000 mostly British, pugilistic partisans pack another traditional football stadium – the storied Wembley – to witness the ‘continuation’ of a contest that – most agreed – was stopped prematurely last November.

In that first battle, seasoned warrior and multiple World Champion Carl Froch had his ‘insolent sneer’ wiped clean off by London upstart, George Groves. He was knocked down in Round 1 and beaten from ringpost to ringpost over the next six rounds.

Froch’s championship heart and redoubtable bedrock of elite seasoning and experience allowed him to persevere and by Round 9, look to be turning the tide in his favour. Unfortunately, a conclusively concussive ending was denied both the combatants and the viewers, by a nervy referee. In a blatantly inequitable misapplication of ‘benefit of the doubt’, Referee Foster jumped in to save the now wobbly Groves, without giving the up to then, dominant boxer, a chance to save himself.

Everyone agreed Groves had earnt the chance, to at least be given the opportunity to recover from his first real moment of danger. Until then, this was a fight his more fluid punching and classic combinations had been dominating.

Not only did Foster rob Groves of a potentially salutary moment, he denied the surging Champion, Froch, the opportunity to cement a glorious comeback, with a clean victory.

Controversy!

Both Social and Traditional media feasted on it like a chicken-hawk with a fresh serving of Foghorn-Leghorn thigh. After months of the expected promotional shenanigans, Eddie Hearn made the rematch for Wembley and Froch and Groves did their bit to ensure it would be brim-full come fight time.

The fight itself was atmospheric enough, if not fought at such a high intensity as the original. Froch was more respectful, Groves more measured. Even so, once again Groves’ superior fluidity and the clean lines of his classical approach opened up a lead. This time though, the idiosyncratic Froch ground his way to the leader’s shoulder by halfway, exacting a greater toll earlier than Fight One.

Groves responded with big moments in Rounds 7 & 8, landing steadying single shots, to spotlight the threat he represented. However, by this time Froch had found the range to be consistently hurtful and while Groves started Round 8 with eye-catching bravado, Froch abrubtly terminated the Round, the Fight and Groves’ challenge with a one-punch blockbuster of his own.

A blistering right-hand behind a blinding jab caught Groves in between punches, at full extension, spinning his head violently – a rusty gimbal swinging the door shut on consciousness – as he fell back, head underneath the ropes, gloves instinctively protecting a chin already rudely disabused of any thoughts of durability.

Referee Charlie Fitch’s immediate stoppage, without a count was neither premature, nor controversial. He could have counted to a hundred and Groves would still have been on unsteady legs and counting ‘Tweety Birds’.

And so Carl Froch could replace his trademark sneer with a heartfelt smile. In this murky era of perpetual pugilistic twilight, England’s ‘Cobra’ has cemented his position – ironically enough – as the clarifying anti-venom. This, now iconic, example of clean living dedication was rewarded with an indelible moment, on as big a stage as Eorld Boxing can provide.

Even better, he rewarded fans – of boxing in general and of his own in particular – with an effort and display, unencumbered by doubt and well worth remembering.

Comments

  1. Rob Burke says

    Didn’t get to see the fight, which is a shame as any display of boxing ‘encumbered by doubt’ usually is a cracker.
    Like reading the ‘Tipster’, and the comments – learning heaps!
    Yes, novice, but eager to learn!!

  2. Great review Gregor. Didn’t see the fight, but a taste of the sweet science is a joy.

  3. matt watson says

    Great to read a story about boxing.
    I’m prone to writing them myself…
    Boxing is the purest sport and the most fun to write about.

  4. Gregor Lewis says

    Thanks Rob; Dips; Matt;

    Speaking of a legacy worth remembering, when you get a ‘mo’, please take a look at the link below for an ?lpha – ?mega description of the classic, once typical road out of and eventually back into, desperate straits, boxing’s rough diamonds were renowned for walking.

    ( http://www.independent.co.uk/news/obituaries/matthew-saad-muhammad-miracle-matthew-boxer-and-campaigner-for-the-homeless-9464855.html).

    grl

  5. Gregor Lewis says

    One last link from me on Matthew Saad Muhammad’s poignant legacy, in boxing and in life.

    This time from a fan’s heartfelt perspective. Please read the first entry of the attached:

    ( http://ringtv.craveonline.com/news/341243-dougies-monday-mailbag-181)

    grl

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