George Groves' controversial defeat to Carl Froch on Saturday night will not ruin his journey to becoming a world champion. If anything, it did the complete opposite.
In a truly great fight, Groves showed his talent and just why he deserves to be mentioned as a true world-title contender in the super-middleweight division.
Groves headed into the fight as the rank outsider, greeted in Manchester by a chorus of boos, aimed his way after his pre-fight trash talk deemed petulant. He went on to stun the crowd, flooring the champion in the first round and unleashing several combinations of both skill and fury.
Froch came back strong and the two traded blows until a shot to the temple by Froch left Groves - 11 years his junior - shaken. A further combination to the body by Froch led to the intervention of referee Howard Foster and the contest was over, sparking fury from those in the Groves corner. Groves had been leading on the scorecard of all three judges.
Froch, unsurprisingly, claimed the stoppage was deserved and that the intervention of the referee has in fact boosted Groves career, with the controversial decision looking better on the young fighter's CV than an undisputed knockout.
Groves, of course, begs to differ. He claims that had it been Froch who was struggling, as he had been in the first round, the referee would have given in to reputation and given him the time to recover.
Whatever occurs in the aftermath of this fight, be it the end for Carl Froch as a champion, a highly anticipated re-match or a different title shot for Groves, Saturday's fight has put Groves on the map as a truly talented fighter.
After entering the ring to a chorus of jeers, he left nine rounds later to cheers. Even in defeat, a star may have been born.
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