Belfast Telegraph

Monday 15 September 2014

Carl Froch: George Groves just not in my class

Head to head: Carl Froch (right) and George Groves yesterday
Head to head: Carl Froch (right) and George Groves yesterday

Carl Froch believes his world super-middleweight title defence against George Groves in Manchester tonight will go down alongside the great domestic grudge matches.

Froch has made no secret of his dislike for the unbeaten Groves in a fiery build-up to a fight which appears to have caught the public's imagination despite the champion's insistence Groves does not belong in the same ring.

The Nottingham 36-year-old believes the fight's popularity is due less to the challenge Groves brings to the table and more because the British public have always relished a good-guy, bad- guy clash.

Casting himself firmly in the former category, Froch, who will put his WBA and IBF titles on the line, said: "Groves is British and he's horrible and I don't think anybody likes him, which always helps make a fight big.

"It's goodie versus baddie and I'm willing to be the good guy. George Groves has very much made himself the bad guy because of his disrespect and the way in which he's conducted himself during this build-up."

Froch is convinced he is in for one of the easiest nights of his career.

Groves brings a 19-fight unbeaten record but his most notable win remains a tight majority decision over his former amateur rival James DeGale in May 2011.

The Londoner, who is 11 years Froch's junior, has been mocked by the champion for publicly revealing what he insists are his detailed plans to beat the champion, but claims he affords him plenty of respect.

Groves said: "Of course I respect him as a fighter, but he's done his very best to try to tarnish my name and he's just contradicted himself constantly – he's the only one being disrespectful.

"He wants me to come in and be really nice and shake his hand and say can I be a friend afterwards and thanks for the opportunity, but the fact is I've shown up knowing I'm going to win and he's struggled to live with that," he added.

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