01/06/2014 - 14.44.28


Froch stops Groves with thunderous knockout

Rob Bartlett at Wembley Stadium

Carl Froch ended George Groves with a huge right hand  ©  Getty Images

Carl Froch gave a champion's performance to knock George Groves out in the eighth round of their highly anticipated world title rematch at Wembley Stadium.

In front of an electric 80,000 crowd, Froch caught Groves with an unstoppable right hand which left his rival spread-eagled on the floor underneath the ropes. In stark contrast to their first fight, referee Charlie Fitch had no option but to wave his hands and stop proceedings as Froch retained his IBF and WBA world titles. The blow and its impact were so clear, there was no count.

Groves, with slight cheek, had entered the Wembley walkway before the fight in an iconic London bus as flames wowed the crowd. Froch was more understated, shadow boxing as he made his way to the ring by foot.

Thunderous roars sounded around Wembley as the first bell rang, but it was a cagey start. Midway through the first round, Groves landed a large left hook, the punch he vowed to knock Froch out with. It put the world champion on the back foot and stirred the vociferous crowd once again and brought a clean left punch in response from Froch.

The pair were endured boos at the start of the second round as Fitch was forced to separate them following a tangling grapple, then Froch closed in for another tight body shot and Groves responded with a forceful left hand. Both were appearing to settle after their opening nerves.

The shadowing continued at the start of round three, which prompted more impatient jeers from the crowd. It was close but the bout was punctuated by moments of drama as the fighters cut free and went for their shots.

Froch landed a superb left, only to feel the force of a right hook from Groves, who was then caught flush with another powerful 'Cobra' left. Groves retaliated with a right hand and clearly caught his opponent's chin, but it did not earn him the third round stoppage he had promised.

Froch continually chased Groves down, trying to limit the space his opponent had to work with. In contrast to the first fight, the 36-year-old looked stronger with his jab, a ploy he acknowledged he needed in order to restrict Groves. The Hammersmith fighter responded with a hard right of his own but Froch took the fourth with a flurry of body shots on the bell.

The fight sparked fully into life in the fifth round as Froch backed Groves into the corner and unleashed a burst of pressure punches before stepping away. Groves threw wildly in a bid to turn momentum back his way but Froch kept his distance, before the pair clashed with a heated exchange in the middle of the ring.

Froch was then caught with a right while targeting the body of Groves, but it was the challenger who showed the first signs of wear with a marked eye. Froch ended the sixth with more hits to Groves' midriff.

However, the champion left himself open at the start of the seventh and Groves took full advantage with a crushing left hand, which had Froch stumbling backwards. Groves took firm control of the round with another right but Froch launched forward with a succession of heavy combinations to keep Groves on the ropes.

A fierce right from Froch then had Groves backed into the corner at the start of the eighth, but referee Fitch stepped in to relieve the pressure. The pair to took it up again in the middle - but not for long.

Froch opened up Groves and then hit him with a flush right hand to the chin, the challenger collapsing under buckling legs.