Boxing: George Groves relives his heartbreaking defeat to Carl Froch and reiterates his belief that referee Howard Foster got it wrong

Foster stopped the fight in the ninth round after a flurry of punches from Froch despite many criticising the decision as coming far to early, with Groves claiming he was still comfortably defending himself

George Groves had reiterated his devastation at the way his super-middleweight title shot against Carl Froch on Saturday night came to an end after referee Howard Foster called an end to the fight in the ninth round in what was a highly controversial finish.

Groves not only rocked the defending champion but the boxing world as a whole when he floored Froch in the opening round, becoming just the second man to send the Nottingham fighter to the canvas in his professional career.

Groves was the dominant fighter throughout the early stages, before Froch began to work his way back into the bout as he re-grouped from the early setback.

London-born Groves took the unusual approach of telling his opponent his tactics before the fight, and he displayed them for everyone to see on the night with a devastating accuracy. But when Froch went on the attack midway through the ninth, Foster leapt in to stop the fight as he deemed Groves was no longer in a position to defend himself – much to the heartbreak of the 25-year-old and the near 20,000-strong crowd in attendance that were witnessing one of the greatest British fights of all time.

“The fight right up until the point of the stoppage was going exactly how I knew it would,” said Groves. “I gave some bold predictions before the fight, I even went as far as telling Mr Froch how the first three rounds were going to go.

“It was even worse than he could possibly imagine, being put over in the first round. He had no success, no success at all throughout the whole fight. And the first time he landed a couple of shots, at the same time I was still defending, making him miss and punching back, the referee made a horrendous decision and jumped in and stopped the fight. I’m bitterly disappointed.”

With the decision proving hugely unpopular with a crowd that booed the younger boxer to the ring only to applaud and cheer him out of it, Foster has come in for criticism for what many have claimed was a premature ending, while Groves also believes that Froch was allowed to get away with a number of late punches during the fight.

“I’ve gone back, I’ve watched the tapes. It was a terrible, terrible, decision,” he lambasted. “At no point was I on shaky legs, my head was clear. The referee just had a terrible night.

Groves knocked down Froch in the opening round for just the second time in his career Groves knocked down Froch in the opening round for just the second time in his career  

“Carl for all his great attributes, the best thing he does is take punches. That’s the only thing he can take away from that fight in my opinion. He crosses his legs when he attacks, he leaves big gaping defensive errors. In the first round he had a cumbersome attack and he walked straight onto a right hand and that was it, he got put over.

“(In) Round 6 I landed double figures, heavy heavy, shots, consecutively with no reply. I was winning the rounds clearly, no one would argue that.

“He looked like Bambi in headlights, he was stunned, didn’t know what to expect.

“I wasn’t in a desperate place, we had some fundamental points that we wanted to bring up at the rules meeting. And one was that we wanted to work on the inside, much like Andre Ward did.”

“In boxing you sometimes get up close, your arm gets tangled up and you can work the other arm, we were happy to do that.  I think they thought that was all just part of our game plan, that I was pretending. But I knew I could control him on the inside because he can’t fight on the inside.

“So each time one of my arms was taken I was there working away with the other hand, the referee would stay stop and I would get hit on the break, which is a foul. To the point where I was letting Carl Froch hit me because it was that blatant, I thought how many warnings can the referee give him.  At some point he’s going to have to take a point off and then he’ll be in trouble and get disqualified.”

Groves continued with his criticism of Foster’s decision, claiming that the fight was still going exactly to how he had planned with three rounds remaining upon the completion of the ninth. However, the bout would not reach that point as Foster jumped in to save what he saw as a defenceless Groves.

Froch unleashed a flurry of punches in the ninth that brought an end to the fight Froch unleashed a flurry of punches in the ninth that brought an end to the fight  

“The referee is supposed to stop the fight when you’re in a dangerous position and can’t protect yourself. If I’m making the guy miss and I’m still firing back that means I’m still conscious that I’m in the fight and that I’m doing the right things. Carl Froch was in my opinion on his last legs and emptying the tank. And I was happy to let him punch away and miss the majority of his punches because I had three rounds to go after that and that was when I planned to really step it up.”

“To win over a boxing crowd, that’s the ultimate goal and that’s the only thing I can really take from this fight as a consolation.”

The pair eventually shook hands despite Froch's early decision to reject Groves' offer after the fight had ended The pair eventually shook hands despite Froch's early decision to reject Groves' offer after the fight had ended  

“After the fight, I didn’t blame Carl Froch, I said it was a terrible decision, it’s unjust, but I’m happy to shake his hand. He wasn’t happy to shake my hand, he told me words that I can’t repeat on TV.  And afterwards after my trainer went over and said you need to tell your fella to behave now, he needs to be a little more gracious in this win. He came over and we spoke, but he desperately tried to justify the win and I think that’s another reason why people were booing him.”

Meanwhile, former world champion Amir Khan was in full support of Groves, admitting that in his eyes the fight was stopped prematurely and that he had Groves ahead as a clear leader.

“I gave most of the rounds to Groves, I thought he was winning the fight with that long jab,” explained Khan. “He was catching Carl coming in every time and in the first round when he put him down with that right hand, it was an amazing shot. Carl was very lucky the bell went, if the bell hadn’t gone I think the fight would probably have been stopped because he was off his feet and he was really gone.

“When the referee did stop the fight, George got hit with two good shots, but his feet were still solid, he was still strong, he was still defending himself at the same time. I don’t think he should have stopped the fight, there were two world titles on the line.

“Sometimes it’s a good thing that the referee stops the fight because you always have another day, but I really believe the fight at the weekend, between Groves and Froch should not have been stopped, it was just a bit too early.”

The full interview with George Groves and Amir Khan will be on Boxing Tonight tomorrow on BT Sport 1 at 8pm

Suggested Topics
News
people
News
A survey carried out by Sainsbury's Finance found 20% of new university students have never washed their own clothes, while 14% cannot even boil an egg
science...and the results are not as pointless as that sounds
News
politicsIs David Cameron trying to prove he's down with the kids?
News
Dominique Alderweireld, also known as Dodo de Saumure, is the owner of a string of brothels in Belgium
newsPhilip Sweeney gets the inside track on France's trial of the year
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Cumberbatch was speaking on US television when he made the comment (Getty)
people
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Tom DeLonge, Travis Barker and Mark Hoppus of Blink-182 pictured in 2011.
musicBassist Mark Hoppus and drummer Travis Barker say Tom Delonge is 'disrespectful and ungrateful'
Sport
football
Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman and David Tennant star in 'Broadchurch'
tvBroadchurch series 2, episode 4, review - contains spoilers
Sport
cyclingDisgraced cycling star says people will soon forgive his actions
News
Britain's Prince Philip attends a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace in London
people
Arts and Entertainment
Ed Sheeran will play three sell-out gigs at Wembley Stadium in July
music
News
i100
News
Lena Dunham posing for an official portrait at Sundance 2015
people
Arts and Entertainment
Under the skin: Sarah Kane in May 1998
theatreThe story behind a new season of Sarah Kane plays
Arts and Entertainment
Preening: Johnny Depp in 'Mortdecai'
filmMortdecai becomes actor's fifth consecutive box office bomb
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Representative

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To promote and sell the Company...

Recruitment Genius: Project Engineer

£30000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity has ari...

Recruitment Genius: Project Manager - Civil Engineering

£35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Business: This company is going thro...

Tradewind Recruitment: KS1 & KS2 Teachers Required

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: Tradewind Recruitment are currently working...

Day In a Page

Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea