We’re just over a week away from one of the most highly-anticipated fights of the modern era and I’m still struggling to pick a winner between Carl Froch and George Groves.
I backed a Froch stoppage in the ninth round ahead of their first fight and won a few quid as a result, but I have to admit I hugely underestimated Groves and was almost ripping up my betting slip when he put the champion on his backside in the first.
Most people are backing Froch for the rematch, saying he took Groves lightly in Manchester and won’t make the same mistakes again.
Nobody seems to be dissecting Groves’ performance, and while he was the sharper man for certainly the first five rounds of the first bout, he could have implemented a much smarter gameplan when Froch started to land in the eighth and then the ninth and subsequently final round.
Groves is undoubtedly the better technician of the two, but Froch is a warrior.
If Groves boxes behind his clinical jab, he could make it a pretty comfortable evening for himself at Wembley.
I get the feeling his ego will come into play and he will get dragged into a war at some point though, which is why it is so hard to call a winner.
Another factor that needs to be taken into account is the pyschological state of both men leading up to the rematch.
I don’t think anybody would claim Froch had any joy during the mindgames leading up to the first fight.
Everytime he was around Groves he seemed to be close to losing the plot. He was always on edge,
You could also say he looked riled when they announced the fight and shoved Groves pitchside at Wembley.
He finally seems able to handle Groves’ presence of late though and seemed to get the better of Groves in a recent face-off.
This is one of the toughest fights in recent memory to call, but I’m going for a Groves stoppage in the eighth, best priced at 45/1.
But Froch could easily blow Groves out in one, anything could happen which is why this fight has captured the attention of the boxing world.
I couldn’t write a boxing column this week without mentioning the barnstormer between Travis Dickinson and Matty Clarkson in Leeds on Saturday night.
If you haven’t watched it, I strongly urge you to do so (it should be available online).
I can’t remember a better fight (although Timothy Bradley v Ruslan Provodnikov last year comes close).
Both men showed super-human grit and determination and shook hands afterwards, bloodied and beaten to a pulp.
A superb advert for boxing at a time when judging scandals and contractual wranglings threaten to drag the sport through the mud.