WBC title challenger George Groves has revealed he always thought rival Carl Froch would step away from boxing following their massive fight at Wembley in front of 80,000 people.
Groves was knocked out with one devastating punch by Froch in May 2014, which will now be his conqueror’s final fight, and ‘The Saint’ says ‘The Cobra’ was running out of challenges after sealing victory in the UK’s most lucrative contest.
“It was pretty obvious that he wasn’t going to box on after my fight. He hasn’t been involved in boxing since then so I sort of knew that his retirement was coming. It’s one of those things,” Groves told Sky Sports News HQ.
Froch famously talked about his triumph to pound for pound king Floyd Mayweather when covering the Manny Pacquiao mega-fight for Sky Sports, a job he will now continue after hanging up the gloves, and Groves couldn’t help having a slight dig at the Nottingham man.
“I think he’ll be remembered for a few things: one was for the controversy in our first fight where some people feel it was the wrong decision, obviously him beating me at Wembley, and finally him explaining it to Floyd Mayweather.
“Once you’ve explained it to Floyd Mayweather I don’t think there’s much else that you need to do in a boxing career and that’s the time to retire.”
All jokes aside though, Groves certainly does respect the fighter, even though he admits as men they have never taken a liking to each other.
“We don’t need to be friends – I’ve got friends,” he said. “There’s a rivalry when you’re going to box and now that he’s no longer a fighter that rivalry isn’t there.
“Rivalries are healthy in boxing, it promotes fighters to become better fighters.
“He’s a tough man to beat. Sometimes you think you’ve got him and a bit of controversy gets in the way and sometimes you’re boxing really well, you’re in full control, and then one punch and it can change a fight.
“There’s been plenty of fights of Carl Froch’s that I’ve watched and thought ‘he’s losing this’ or ‘he’s not going to get the win’ and he ends up getting the win.
“He’s got a natural (way of) winning, that in itself is something to respect and I think there have been some great wars, some great fights to watch. He’s always entertaining for the casual fan because he’s happy to take a punch to land a punch,” added Groves.