Carl Froch relives historic Wembley win one year on

Published On Friday, June 12, 2015By
As Carl Froch emerged for the biggest ring entrance of his career, Wembley had gone from swaying to Queen to the searing guitars of AC/DC. It was not just the physical preparations for a showdown with George Groves which had been meticulous, but also the small details like the music. But, one year on from the grandest night in British boxing history, there was a danger that memorable ring walk would have had a different tone. "Rocco (Froch's son) and I had been watching the second Iron Man film and there is a bit when he skydives to Shoot to Thrill," he says. "I thought it would be a great track to come into after Queen's 'We Will Rock You'. "You have to submit the music you are going to use to the British Board of Boxing Control, but they were going to put a stop to me using it. "There is a line in the song which says 'shoot to thrill, play to kill' and obviously being boxing and the dangers involved, they were not keen. "But I had to argue my case that it was just a song and eventually they allowed it." As the guitars faded away and the lights went out, what then ensued was one of the greatest spectacles world boxing has ever witnessed. More than 80,000 fans had crammed into Wembley where the national stadium doubled up as a modern day coliseum. There stood two men, whose dislike for each other had created one of the most bitter feuds between two boxers since Nigel Benn and Chris Eubank. Froch, who had won the first meeting following a controversial ninth round stoppage the previous November, took the rematch to set the record straight once and for all. But he had to withstand countless jibes from Groves's camp about his health, his mental state and much more. "He had literally tried everything to give him an edge," he said. "He pulled out the Rubik's Cube, he started that 'everything for a reason nonsense', death row comments and all sorts he said. "But it backfired because everything went right for me. "From the shove at Wembley that he got annoyed about and then pulling him over the table on the Gloves are Off, he didn't win the psychological battle. "And do you know what? After he got off that silly double decker bus, he entered the ring like those wrestlers the Bushwhackers. "But I could sense that he was nervous. I could sense that it was dawning on him what he was about to face. "He knew he hadn't unsettled me, and my plan was to always turn my back on him as I got into the ring. "I then showed him my new gum shield which he had actually wanted, but the makers had given to me. "But above all that, the training camp could not have gone any better. No corners had been cut and I felt invincible on the back of it. "I knew there was no way he could ever beat me." With the first fight between the pair deemed to have been stopped too early by referee Howard Foster, there was certainly no debate about the way the rematch ended. Froch had hunted down Groves at every opportunity, commanding the centre of the ring before the eighth round produced a seminal moment. The right hand which detonated on Groves' chin was one of the finest punches ever seen in a world title fight, one which the great Barry McGuigan claimed would have knocked out a horse. The referee took one look at Groves, leg twisted, waved the fight over and a saga drenched in animosity had been settled in devastating brilliance. "I went on record to say it was the best punch I've ever thrown," he says. "And it is. What it meant, the way it was executed, it meant an awful lot. "I knew it was over as soon as it landed. There was no way Groves was getting up. "The photographs captured the power and the impact perfectly. It was a punch which ended a bitter saga, one that had captured the attention of boxing and non-boxing fans." So one year on, what impact has that night had? "People now still come up to me and say, 'I'm glad you knocked him out'," he said. "And a year on, it still amazes me what occurred that night. "It meant everything to me and my family to be involved in something so historic, so magnificent and to finish the fight in the best way possible." And Groves? "We've never really crossed paths since," he says. "I was ringside when he fought Rebrasse and he tried to goad me into a third fight. "I'd never heard anything so stupid in my life. "I've beaten him up twice, and that's not even mentioning the third time when I gave him a pasting in sparring. "He had his chance and got beat up. He's history." Read more: Follow us: @Nottingham_Post on Twitter | NottinghamPostOnline on Facebook