• Carl Froch v George Groves

Groves to make a formal complaint, says Fitzpatrick

ESPN staff
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Paddy Fitzpatrick exclusive interview

Paddy Fitzpatrick has revealed that he and George Groves will be making a formal complaint following the controversial stoppage in his loss to Carl Froch on Saturday night.

Referee Howard Foster stepped in to end the bout in the ninth round as Froch was unleashing punches on Groves. However, Groves had been leading on all three judges' scorecards and knocked Froch down in the first round.

With the decision seeing Froch retaining his WBA and IBF titles, Groves' trainer Fitzpatrick says there is unfinished business from the fight.

Boxing is no 'Sweet Science'

Froch v Groves was a real battle © PA Photos
  • Carl Froch's controversial world title fight with George Groves showed why boxing is a brutal business. But it is a business where the good, the bad and the ugly have to find a way to exist.
  • Read more of Steve Bunce's thoughts here

"I just saw an exchange between two men fighting for a world title. On the night, the referee was jumping in too quickly as they were getting together. When I watched the replay, I'm even more saddened by it," Fitzpatrick told Buncey's Boxing Podcast.

"When I got into the ring, George was facing me. My concern is the fighter of course, and he was fine. George got hit by some shots that can cause you distress, but it doesn't mean that the fight should be stopped. When a man is firing back, how can you stop a fight?"

Fitzpatrick also launched a scathing attack on Robert Smith, the secretary of the British Boxing Board of Control, who has come out and backed the decision of the referee.

"Directly after the fight, I told Robert Smith that we will be making a formal complaint, and Robert said, 'Paddy, of course, you just give me a call next week'.

"Mr Smith is in charge of the board of control. He's not there to defend the referees and the judges. He is there to police them. What gives him the right to go in and make the decision and defend the referee before he is given evidence from our team that it was an early stoppage, especially when he knew that we would be contacting him?

And on a potential rematch, Fitzpatrick added: "If that rematch happens, then George will stop him in four rounds.

"Before the fight, I fully believed that Carl Froch was not afraid of George the man, he was afraid of what George could do to beat him and take everything away that he's worked for, him being the darling of the British public.

"Now, Froch is afraid of the man, because now he's been in there. Now he knows that George can, and will, hurt him."

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