Actor and avid boxing fan Jake Wood has been following intently in the build-up as Carl Froch and George Groves prepare to wage another war on Saturday night at Wembley Stadium in London.
Wood, who plays Max Branning in the long-running BBC drama, took in the first fight at Manchester’s Phones 4U Arena last November as Groves was controversially stopped in the ninth round by Froch.
This time around, after knowledgeable predictions of more mental warfare fell by the wayside, Wood sees a much different champion gearing-up to defend his titles than the Froch that was floored in the first round by Groves six months ago.
“I have managed to see quite a bit of the buildup, and apart from Froch losing his cool at the first Wembley presser and pushing Groves, I think Froch is dealing with his mind games perfectly this time around,” Wood told World Boxing News.
“Froch has been deflecting Groves comments and not getting caught up in anything psychological, which is where I believe he may have gone wrong last time – even though he eventually won the fight.
“He looks so much more measured and seems a lot more focused this time around, and now that Groves has lost that element of surprise, Froch knows what to expect now and is well prepared it seems.”
At 36, many are speculating that Froch may have been better served stepping away from the sport instead of giving Groves another chance to expose him, but Wood says ‘The Cobra’ is looking a much different animal for the return.
“I like the fact that he is sparring an up and coming unbeaten fighter like Chris Eubanks Jr. for example, as it’s an indication that Froch is focusing on controlling Groves speed,” he explained.
“I think Groves will have successes early on as Froch is a notoriously slow starter, but I think he will ultimately weather the storm and come through stronger in the later rounds.
“Despite Groves best efforts and it being a great fight, I see it being a Froch win by late stoppage once again,” added Wood.
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