The normally composed Carl Froch has become incandescent with rage in recent interviews with George Groves as they promote their highly-anticipated world title fight.
His consternation stems from what he perceives as the young Groves undermining the achievements of a career, which has seen the Englishman crowned Super Middleweight Champion on four separate occasions.
Groves' slanderous comments, designed to defame the 36-year-old Nottingham native's credentials have clearly infuriated Froch to the point where the contest has breached the borders of being ‘simply business’. It is now very personal.
The pair faced off in an excruciatingly awkward interview in a Sky Sports Ringside special to promote the fight, where the tension and bad blood between the men was painstakingly palpable.
Here are some of Groves comments in that interview:
“The fact remains that all I've done is tell the truth. I told the truth about how he's been exposed in previous fights and I've shown where's he's looked vulnerable and shown weaknesses. It's up to me to go out there and exploit those weaknesses.
“I show up and do what I can do and what I will do. We've seen Carl get beat many times before. I've got to pick one of those ways to beat him. I haven't decided which one yet.”
“I'll put this chump to sleep. We'll see. I will knock Froch out. He won't hear that final bell.”
I really cannot fathom Groves conviction as Froch, despite his advancing years, has looked every inch the World Champion since his career defining performance against a previously unbeaten Lucian Bute, who he absolutely obliterated in five rounds to once a regain a title in the 168lb weight class.
In his other performances since that famous night he has avenged his loss to Mikkel Kessler, picking up the Danish warriors IBF crown in the process, before destroying the hopelessly overmatched Yusaf Mack in three rounds in his first defence of that title.
Not exactly the form of an over the hill fighter who is being prepared for pasture, is it? If anything, Froch seems to have improved since he was outclassed by Andre Ward in the Super Six tournament.
Sure, he is an easy target to hit, but his awesome firepower and extraordinary ability to absorb murderous punishment more than compensate for his porous defence. I very much doubt that Groves possesses the power to trouble Froch’s iron chin to the point of knockout like the Londoner insists he will.
More importantly, contrary to the popular belief that George Groves has scored some sort of victory in getting under Froch’s skin- a consensus that is gaining genuine momentum- I feel his puerile put downs of Froch will backfire badly for the young challenger.
Whilst the Champion has somewhat worryingly conceded some of his composure to the young upstart in recent weeks, his vast experience has ensured that it has not totally receded, unlike the Londoners hairline- which he is hanging onto for dear life.
But Groves obviously feels that Froch, whose rage is boiling, will struggle to control his temper and as result will abandon his game plan, punch wildly and play into his hands.
This conviction is by no means beyond comprehension - it could conceivably happen. If it did, it would be tantamount to a tactical masterstroke from the savvy Groves.
On the contrary, I think this is a classic case of wishful thinking by Groves. And I fully expect that when the occasion calls for composure the Kobra will have the clarity of mind to remain calm enough to pick his moments to release the venom which will vanquish Saint George.
For this reason, I expect the 'Sheriff of Nottingham' to lay down law on Groves and close his big mouth shut by way of knockout in the closing stages of the contest.
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