• Carl Froch v George Groves

Froch: Referee right to call stoppage

ESPN staff
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Carl Froch believes George Groves was in serious trouble at the time of the stoppage © PA Photos
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World super-middleweight champion Carl Froch believes referee Howard Foster was right to call an end to his controversial title fight with George Groves on Saturday.

Despite being knocked down in the opening round, Froch survived an onslaught of pressure from challenger Groves before unleashing his own punishment in the latter rounds of their Manchester bout.

With Groves taking heavy punishment on the ropes during round nine, Foster stepped in to end the fight and give Froch a questionable victory, meaning the 'Cobra' retained his WBA and IBF belts.

However, Froch felt Groves was in trouble at the time and indicated the referee made the correct call to ensure the 25-year-old's safety.

"It was a fair enough stoppage," Froch told Sky Box Office. "I felt I had a couple more free shots on him and I was lining him up for the uppercut. He was struggling, that last one or two shots can do great damage in this sport.

"The referee has to make a split-second decision; it's the referee's decision. I don't have any sympathy for [Groves], you have to put yourself in the referee's hands. As a fighter, I've never disrespected him, I respect him as a fighter.

"He has earned more respect from me as a fighter. As a person he has been very childish and very rude. He's held his hand up proudly tonight, he came in to the arena tonight to boos and is leaving with cheers."

Trainer Robert McCracken echoed Froch's thoughts, stating Groves was unfit to continue the fight. However, McCracken is adamant the Hammersmith fighter will respond positively to his first ever professional loss.

"It was a good stoppage, George was badly hurt - he couldn't continue. He did fantastically well, he's a great talent, he's only 25 and his time will come again," McCracken told BBC Radio 5Live.

"Carl Froch showed what he was about and ground him down, but George did very well. Carl defended the titles massively well. I think people will see when they watch the replays how badly hurt George was. Carl has nothing left to prove, he's stopped Groves."

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