Bunce on Boxing: Still no love lost as George Groves aims to put right perceived wrongs in money-spinning grudge match with Carl Froch at Wembley

I’m going to worry about me. No games this time, just me getting ready. I will be a different man

It took about 90 minutes yesterday to sell 60,000 tickets for the rematch between Carl Froch and George Groves at Wembley on 31 May.

Eddie Hearn, the promoter of the Froch fight, will meet with Transport for London and talk about putting on extra transportation and hopefully another 20,000 will then go on sale. If that happens and they all sell it will be a record British gate of about £5 million. The fight will be on Sky pay-per-view and that will, if sales exceed one million, add a further £20m to the kitty. It will be the most lucrative fight to ever take place in Britain.

The pair came together yesterday during a particularly fractious press conference that turned ugly when they posed on the Wembley pitch and ended with Froch pushing Groves away. It was not a friendly nudge. Groves remained upright after a stilted stagger and immediately turned to Hearn and said: “Eddie, sort your boy.” The hate on both of their faces was astonishing at that moment.

Froch won their first fight last November in round nine but there was some controversy concerning the timing of the stoppage by the British referee Howard Foster. Groves has called for a neutral – non-British – referee this time and Hearn has backed him and will speak to the British Boxing Board of Control.

It was quite disturbing yesterday to see the pair come so close and appear to still have absolutely no respect for each other. Groves revealed in the highly confrontational days after the first fight that Froch had initially refused to shake his hand in the ring on the night. They did eventually shake but hostilities have remained alarmingly high.

It looks and sounds like Froch, who told me that he didn’t prepare mentally for Groves last time, has no interest in a repeat of any of the name calling and mind- games of the last fight, when the pair both came close to censor for some of their personal insults. “This time I’m going to just worry about me,” said a focused yet agitated Froch. “No games this time, just me getting ready for a fight and I will be a different man this time.”

Froch, by the way, has taken to calling Groves “Mr Idiot Boy”, which has a funny ring to it; they both claim to be joking and in control but yesterday it all seemed a bit too raw for it to be a series of acts.

Groves, meanwhile, insists that this time he will finish Froch off before the final bell. He blames the referee for an early stoppage in a fight he was winning on all three scorecards after dropping Froch heavily in the opening round. Yet it had been tight for over a round before the end and from 10 feet away at my privileged spot at ringside it looked like Groves was tired. “Carl has nothing left, look at him. He has nothing left,” said Groves yesterday.

Perhaps Groves has a point because during the last six years Froch has been in 11 consecutive world title fights and only one has been easy. Froch has seemingly been lost in deep holes and has done what champions do and found a way to win. He did it last November and he claims he will do it this May. It is a good debate, it was a great fight last time and this time 80,000 will sit in judgement.

Last Saturday in Las Vegas it took 10 minutes for 12,000 tickets valued at $12m (£7.2m) to sell for the Floyd Mayweather and Marcos Maidana fight on  3 May. The cheapest tickets are $300 (£180) compared to £30 for the Froch fight, which helps explain the difference in revenue.

Mayweather’s pay-per-view will cost in excess of $70 and little Floyd will pay himself about $40m. May will be a big month in the fisticuffs business.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

Ashdown Group: IT Support Analyst - Liverpool - up to £28,000

£22000 - £28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: This is a large multi-site operation...

Recruitment Genius: Account Executive

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a lead...

Recruitment Genius: HR and Payroll Manager

£35000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This dynamic outsourced contact...

Recruitment Genius: B2B Telesales Executive - £32,000 OTE

£14000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss