- Carl Froch v George Groves II
'Complacent' Groves vows to right his wrongs
George Groves believes he is in a better place despite suffering a second successive stoppage loss to Carl Froch in their super-middleweight world title fight at Wembley on Saturday.
Groves was knocked out by a thunderous right hand from Froch in the eighth round of their highly anticipated rematch and admitted complacency had cost him the fight.
Class of Froch ranks him among the best
- Carl Froch has survived battles in the ring for supremacy and outside the ring for respect, but surely he conquered all doubters for the last time, writes Steve Bunce.
- Click here for full story
"I thought I was boxing well. I got caught with a shot but that's boxing. Fair play to Carl Froch, he got the job done and was the better man on the night in that respect," Groves said.
"I think it was complacency that let me down. It only takes one shot in boxing and Carl Froch is a strong, seasoned world champion. There's no quit in him, much like myself. If I was given the opportunity I would have got up and carried on fighting.
"We'll go back to the drawing board and we'll come back bigger, better and stronger. It's been a tough few months. For a lot of it we've been the underdog. I thought I was boxing well but I let complacency creep in, something which needs to be eliminated. I will improve; we'll come back stronger and I'll be a world champion.
"I deviated from the game plan. It takes a split second to allow Carl Froch into range and I allowed him to land a right hand. I paid the price for that. We'll talk about wanting to be a complete fighter and we're working towards that.
"I feel in a much better place, as silly as that sounds after getting just knocked out. We've had hard times but we certainly won't let that stop us. I'm looking forward to the times ahead.
"I'm still 26 years old and I just boxed in front of 80,000 fans. I didn't get the result I wanted but I think I was boxing well. I'm sure I'm going to have a long and successful career. I thank Carl for taking the fight. I think it surpassed a lot of people's expectations and really put boxing on the map. I plan to be world champion and I'm sure I will be in the not too distant future."
One for the 'I was there' collection
- Carl Froch knocked out George Groves to confirm boxing's place in the British sporting public's hearts? Kevin Palmer says it's a question that will be asked for years.
- Click here for full story
Groves was very much in it at the time of the knockout, something which Froch was quick to acknowledge in his post-fight comments. However, challenger Groves said he let himself down and "paid the price" for giving Froch an opportunity to land the decisive blow.
"I thought I was winning very comfortably to be honest. I wasn't as gung-ho as in the first fight but I was dominating Carl with the jab. The hand speed was good and he couldn't really find his range. I think there were times where I hurt him. I just got it wrong. I got it wrong for that split second.
"I'm very disappointed and I'll go back and watch it again and I'll be even more disappointed and frustrated. I feel like I've let myself down because that fight was there for me to win. I got complacent for a split second and paid the price. That's world class boxing and I have to eradicate that from my game.
"I saw a brief replay and I was on the floor longer than I actually realised. That's a first for me. The first fight was a bitter blow but it's strange because I felt much more comfortable tonight. It felt like a more accomplished performance."
Groves' newly-appointed promoter Kalle Sauerland believes experience was the difference between the pair, but is still planning a big future for the 26-year-old.
"It's not quite back to the drawing board. We've got plans A, B and C," Sauerland said. "From what I saw, difference was experience. If you're complacent for that one split second and you've got two guys in a ring that can punch a bit, it's always going to happen.
"What matters is he looked very good. He's someone who I think we are lucky to have signed because he's just sold out Wembley Stadium. This was his 21st fight - that is nothing and this guy has just sold out Wembley and boxed a second time for a world title."
What lies next for champion Froch remains to be seen, but James DeGale gave a classy performance in his undercard victory against Brandon Gonzales to make himself mandatory challenger for the 36-year-old's IBF super-middleweight belt.
Groves secured a controversial points win against DeGale in 2011 and, like Froch and Groves, their relationship has been far from friendly.
But when asked who he thinks would win should Froch choose to defend his title against DeGale, Groves joked: "I don't know, to be honest. I love both men just as much and would not want to see either of them lose. So I'll say a draw."