Harry Pratt

Froch-Groves grudge match set for Nov. 23

Carl Froch will defend his super middleweight titles against George Groves on Nov. 23 at the newly-named Phones 4U Arena in Manchester, England.

Confirmation of the venue and date of the eagerly-anticipated all-British grudge showdown emerged Friday. Froch and fellow-Englishman Groves have been involved in some hefty verbal exchanges in recent weeks and will go head-to-head later this month at the first of several planned press conferences.

That should prove a lively, explosive affair in itself. The 36-year-old Froch, from Nottingham, was far from happy earlier this summer when he discovered unbeaten contender Groves (19-0, 15 knockouts) had been helping Mikkel Kessler prepare for his shot at him with sparring sessions in Denmark.

Froch (31-2, 22 KOs) angrily accused Groves, who also had been calling him out regularly, of being unpatriotic and lacking loyalty.

“I’m delighted to bring this event to Manchester on Nov. 23,” said Matchroom chief Eddie Hearn, who promotes both boxers. “This ‘Battle of Britain’ is a fascinating fight between a true legend of British boxing in Carl Froch and a superb young talent in George Groves.

“It’s going to be some atmosphere and some occasion. Phone lines, twitter and emails haven’t stopped for tickets since we confirmed the fight. We are expecting another instant sell out when we go on sale on Sept. 17.”

The Manchester Arena, with a 23,000 capacity, has staged some of the biggest bouts in British boxing, including classics featuring Mike Tyson, David Haye, Joe Calzaghe, Ricky Hatton and Amir Khan.

Froch, THE RING’s No.1-ranked super middleweight, enacted revenge on Kessler in late May for one of only two defeats suffered in an increasingly impressive career. Having lost on points to Kessler two years earlier in Denmark, Froch turned the tables at the London O2 Arena by earning a thrilling unanimous decision.

On the undercard that night, west Londoner Groves, 25, further showcased his credentials to mix it at the top of the 168-pound division with a fifth-round TKO over Uruguayan Noe Gonzalez Alcoba.

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