GiveMeSport live from Wembley Stadium
Carl Froch has quite emphatically put arch nemesis George Groves in his place on the biggest stage possible tonight, delivering an outpouring of pent-up emotion in the form of a devastating right hand that had 80,000 fans at Wembley Stadium roaring midway through the eighth round.
Groves had once again provided plenty of reason to show he belongs at elite level in the seven rounds which preceded perhaps the most emphatic knockout possible, but ultimately he could not deny a 36-year-old world champion who has carved out a quite incredible top-level career out of ramming people's criticism of his style back down their throats.
Early on it was the challenger who weaved in out of range with a cool, calculated calm that belied the biggest stage in British boxing history, while Froch waited menacingly for the right opportunity to strike.
Froch muscled his foe to the floor early in the second round with an ungainly shove, while a tentative start was lit up by furious bursts of aggression from two men who could scarcely possess more contrasting styles.
Round three marked a turn of the tide as such, with Froch willing to come forward and push the younger man back against the ropes with consistent flurries.
Any attempt to establish the jab from the champion proved to fall short though, with Groves able to keep switching angles and land straight down the middle with an overhand right on more than one occasion.
A tactical, stand-off fight proved every bit as absorbing as the first in a completely different way, as we waited for either man to land with a game-changer that would swing the pendulum in their favour.
In round eight that telling intervention arrived as an inviting left hand finally provided the platform for Froch to detonate an astonishing right that sent Groves crumpling to the floor in a harrowing heap.
The 36-year-old stuck to his plan and that created the opening for a monster shot that made sure British boxing's leap back into the mainstream had an ending fitting of a truly awe-inspiring atmosphere.
Groves tried in vain to get to his feet and was put out of his misery very quickly by referee Charlie Fitch, a stoppage not even the most ardent of 'Saint' fans could question this time round.
Froch would probably like the bright lights of Las Vegas to cap a career which has now featured 12 successive world title fights and 10 victories at the highest level across four countries, but if that's not to be Wembley should serve as a fitting finale for a warrior who now finally has the widespread recognition his efforts merit.
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