Amid all the flash and pomp of the pre-fight built up spectacle at Wembley Stadium in London, England this past weekend, an event that was chock full of all of the expected flashing lights, incessant random explosions of light demo throughout and blatant nationalism to be expected during a professional title fight, Nottingham son Carl "The Cobra" Froch (33-2-0/24 KOs) overwhelmed "Saint" George Groves (19-2-0/15 KOs) of Hammersmith in a 12 round scrap for the IBF Super Middleweight and WBA Super World Super Middleweight straps. The dance only lasted 8 of the scheduled 12 rounds, however, with Groves coming out steaming (only the great "Smokin" Joe Frazier (R.I.P. Legend) ever smoked in the ring...) during the opening rounds. While the "Saint" moved excessively well in the beginning of the fight, even outboxing Froch in spots, it appeared that "The Cobra" was literally lying in wait as his moniker openly suggests, adeptly recoiling and waiting for the precise moment to strike with a deadly and venomous accuracy.
What was predicted and anticipated to be one hell of a barn burner did not offer much to the spectators at home or in attendance towards the beginning, even given all of the pageantry and jangling keys that were hung over the masses collective crib from the onset. Purists were looking for the all out war that old school fans often demand and appreciate. The over 80,000 + British boxing fans seated in Wembley united in solidarity and a love for boxing and their countrymen, each individual representing where they come from in the United Kingdom. When Carl "The Cobra" Froch steps into the ring and hammers out his profession with his fists the world takes notice, every single time.
So after a wearisome and frustrating outing for Groves during the first 7 rounds of the fight, Froch dropped the hammer and pulled the trigger in the 8th round against Groves at 2:43. Into the garden went Groves, who got mesmerized by "The Cobra's" slithering left check hook, a crafty stratagem that distracted his prey long enough for Froch to deliver a devastating right hand that dropped Groves like a sack of wet potatoes. Nottingham's own sent "The Saint" far into the promised land with a punch that was heard and seen around the world with such thudding clarity and forward momentum that the Hammersmith native is lucky that his nickname wasn't taken literally after he was struck down.
Forget the hype and spectacle of boxing - the business. The incessant promotions, conference calls, choreographed rhetoric and legions of writers ready to slay men much bigger and bolder than them with the tap of a few keystrokes, at least in their own minds that is. Dismiss the greedy promoters, managers and "yes men" who still hold fast and cling to common idea and cranial washing on a daily basis. Ignore the lure of networks, the cackling of commentators who surely DKSAB, yet then again - who does? Talk about a dead horse, huh? That pony hasn't been beaten it's been petrified baby...
Things to remember. Froch does what it takes to win and he does so convincingly. Groves may have essentially been a "dead man walking" of sorts in his second fray with "The Cobra", but a game opponent (even when outmatched) and the constant pull for many boxing fans to see a second and third fight between two live (and sometimes lukewarm) opponents helps the money men dream a little dream while the rest of us just sleep. Congratulations are in order for "The Cobra" who relies on his staunch determination and boxing fundamentals. One major thing that was not a kudo or plus for Froch was the total lack of head movement. He likes to admire his work and often keeps his head in the middle waiting to get painted which isn't as much a badge of honor or measure of toughness but more so a habit.
One more thing for the record. No Max Kellerman you are mistaken. Froch is not comparable to the "Ultimate Blood and Guts Warrior" and "Human Highlight Film" Arturo "Thunder" Gatti (R.I.P. Champ) (40-9-0/31 KOs). While comparison and conjecture are always present, especially in your line of work, let's not reach here. Credit is due to Froch for another victory no question. Yet there will never be another Arturo Gatti and none of the rambling speculation and truly off comparisons will ever do his memory justice. Much like how Jim Lampley has a "Gatti List" and Dan Rafael named his cat (really?) after "Thunder," the man was and is much more than a marketing tool or novelty. At least to the rest of us. I digress once again...
SIDE NOTE - Not sure if I am alone in being excited to see Miguel "Junito" Cotto (38-4-0/31 KOs) duke it out with Sergio "Maravilla" Martinez on June 7th or not, but who cares? Win or lose, Cotto will always be a fan favorite. He still fights with humility, honesty and is a true boxing throwback. After smashing ESPN mainstay Delvin Rodriguez (28-7-4/16 KOs) (Peace Connecticut!) last October it will be good to see "Junito" mix it up again! Hopefully Cotto will leave Martinez "Estar por la luna".)
TWO-CENTS WELCOME! If you have any questions, comments, complaints, kudos or anything else you can e-mail Jason at firstname.lastname@example.org. Always remember when in doubt knock ‘em out!