Home Boxing News The battles behind Britain’s biggest boxing bout

The battles behind Britain’s biggest boxing bout

Many battles have ensued surrounding the Froch-Groves rematch.

Before the fight was anywhere near to being made official, the egos of each fighter had to be caressed and properly handled; Froch was not openly receptive to giving Groves another world title opportunity and the accompanied healthy payday and was tempted to go on a journey to the States for a showdown against Chavez Jr, and for his part Groves had a clear idea of his value in the fight in terms of the money-split between the boxers and contractual inclusive options and was not willing to settle for less.

Froch Pushes Groves (2.39).

Carl’s brother Lee Froch trys to get in on the action (4.20).

After Hearn successfully negotiated terms between Froch and Groves for their May 31st blockbuster rematch, which has captured the imagination of the British public and fight fans worldwide, then began a race to have assigned a venue.

Hearn, Froch’s and the fight’s promoter, has revealed that the new Wembley Stadium, which has not staged a boxing match since its reopening in 2006, was always the front-runner, but logistical issues presented by England’s friendly against Peru the evening before the fight had meant that other big stadiums, such as The Millennium Stadium and Emirates Stadium, were also considered. However Wembley Stadium was said to be highly enthusiastic about hosting the mammoth boxing event and had worked alongside the FA to make it possible, seemingly to the delight of all those involved.

With the fight on and a venue determined, a subsequent battle to have arisen concerns the fans getting hold of tickets to watch the fight live. Tickets went on sale from midday today, ranging from £30 up to £1500 for the VIP area, but all 60,000 initially allocated were said to run out in under an hour, with 20,000 of those sold within 8 minutes; it is a curiosity as to how many of those tickets were snapped up by touts though. Hearn has stated intentions of releasing a further 20,000 tickets due to public demand but will first consult with Transport for London to ensure that extra buses and trains will be available for the mass of fans travelling home.

And it is not just the fans who are contesting for a place in Wembley for the rematch but other boxers too, notably from the Matchroom stable, are contending for a spot.

The card for the first Froch-Groves meeting was stacked with big domestic names including Scott Quigg, Jamie McDonnell and Martin Murray, but the undercard itself turned out to be quite average on account of the mainly non-competitive fights. Hearn has said that the undercard for the rematch will be less busy with perhaps only five or six fights; Anthony Joshua will be out, either in a six or eight round contest, and the rest are set to be title fights with Hearn hopeful to make two of them for world honours.

There is a chance that Scott Quigg could defend his WBA super-bantamweight title but, given how he is headlining a bill on April 19th in Manchester against interim champion Nehomar Cermeno, it is unlikely, although Quigg is not a stranger to fighting twice within such a short time period.

Former WBO lightweight champion Ricky Burns is unlikely to get a world title shot by the end of May but it is not an impossible feat; Vasquez last fought towards the end of February, retaining his IBF lightweight title against Denis Shafikov after a 14 month lay off, and could possibly be brought to London for the right (financial) incentive. But if Burns were to feature on the Froch-Groves II card then it is far more likely that he will face the winner of next month’s Manchester derby between Anthony Crolla and John Murray; Joe Gallagher, Crolla’s trainer, had been vocal about Murray being undeserving to face his charge and it is plausible that an agreement was made for Crolla-Murray to serve as an eliminator to face Burns on the Froch-Groves bill.

Finally, one fight I had hoped to be made a special feature was James DeGale’s challenge of Sakio Bika’s WBC super-middleweight title after DeGale’s final eliminator was scrapped on account of Badou Jack’s one-round knock out defeat at the hands of Derek ‘The Black Lion’ Edwards. DeGale’s promoter, Mick Hennessey, and the British Boxing Board of Control requested to the WBC that DeGale was installed as mandatory challenger but ultimately in a demonstration of sheer favouritism DeGale was overlooked and the position was handed to Chavez Jr., despite the Mexican having done nothing at super-middleweight to deserve the ranking.

It is frustrating times for DeGale and I would like to see him becoming a world champion and eventually taking on the Froch-Groves winner; should Froch be dethroned in May then a Groves-DeGale rematch to unify the super-middleweight division could eclipse anything British boxing has ever witnessed.

That is a long way away though and for now I shall contain the excitement to Froch-Groves II. Besides, if the second encounter is anything like the first then a third meeting may also be on the cards.