If there was any speck of mutual respect, it surely died a death Thursday.
Indeed, following Carl Froch and George Groves’ face-to-face confrontation on Sky Sports, you must imagine the animosity between the English super middleweights now burns much, much deeper.
Just how fierce those flames will be in three weeks’ time, when IBF titleholder Froch makes his mandatory defense against undefeated Groves at the sold-out Phones4U Manchester Arena, is anybody’s guess. But the wise money is that this grudge clash is going to be an absolute sizzler.
At least that was the obvious conclusion to be drawn from the pair’s hour of bad-mouthing mind games on Sky’s Ringside show. If it began as a publicity stunt to lure in the pay-per-view punters for Nov. 23, it definitely did not finish that way.
By the end of a fascinating program, 36-year-old Froch looked visibly drained and fed up. Groves, meanwhile, seemed energized and more than happy to play the cocky upstart still, needling his forthcoming opponent at every opportunity. The man from west London, 26, constantly interrupted and contradicted Froch (31-2, 22 knockouts) and even accused the Nottingham star of crying.
It was a strange affair. No question Groves (19-0 15 KOs) won the verbal on the night – although probably at the expense of his popularity with some viewers.
All of which will count for little come the first bell, according to Froch, who vowed to destroy Groves, “just as 99.9 percent of the population expect me to.” However, the challenger responded to that by arguing the percentage figure was incorrect before declaring he would “put this chump to sleep.” That particular exchange epitomized the war of words.
The Halloween special, as Sky Sports had billed it, certainly points to an explosive evening of fireworks inside the ring later this month. Check out the pre-fight showdown on Sky Sports here.
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