The Pugilist

Eurosport Roundtable: Who wins Froch v Groves II?

The Pugilist

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The big fight this Saturday between Carl Froch and George Groves for the IBF and WBA super-middleweight titles in front of a near-packed Wembley Stadium is incredibly hard to predict.

All of the bad blood, controversy and excitement between the two from their first bout back in November at the Manchester Arena makes this highly-anticipated rematch the sort of event the world will be watching, genuinely wondering what the outcome will be.

[WHY FROCH CAN'T STAND GROVES]

As is Eurosport Roundtable tradition, we are never afraid to stick our necks out on the big topic and risk making fools of ourselves.

So, for the first time for a non-football subject, scroll down to see who the Eurosport team think will emerge victorious from the biggest British boxing fight in ages.

And if you're feeling equally brave, add your own prediction and explanation at the bottom via the comments section...

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Liam Happe (Twitter: @liamhappe):

George Groves - I’ll be the first to admit that this fight really could go either way and can be determined by a number of intangible factors. The one thing that sticks in my mind from the first fight, however, is just how handily Groves outboxed Froch for most of it. He was only narrowly ahead on the judges’ scorecards but this time around he won’t wrongly be regarded as a young pup in a big dogs’ yard, as he seemed to be last November. In fact, if (a big if), Groves can resist the habit of engaging in a scrap as he did when he was stopped in round nine and instead boxes smart on the back foot in the latter rounds when Froch only gets more battle-hardened, he should be able to do what Andre Ward did in 2011 and exploit Froch’s one-dimensional fighting style as he almost did in the first fight.

Desmond Kane (@EurosportCom_EN):

Carl Froch - You could toss a coin in the air to decide who will win this fight, but something tells me that Froch may just have the edge at Wembley. Groves is talking about retiring Froch. But he could already have achieved such an ambition if he had continued to box Froch in the first fight rather than be tempted to trade blows when a points decision was heading in his direction before the fateful ninth round. Groves is the better boxer, but Froch is the better fighter. Groves is also not Andre Ward. Can he dance around Froch all night? More pertinently, does he have the discipline to do so? I'm going for the more experienced figure to get the better of this fascinating contest. Why? Because the element of surprise has gone. I suspect Froch will be better prepared for what Groves is going to offer this time. But it is very close to call in what has to be the best British fight since Chris Eubank and Nigel Benn went at it 21 years ago.

Toby Keel (@EurosportCom_EN):

George Groves - The Cobra has been Britain's finest boxer in a generation, but the first fight between him and Groves showed that he's met his mongoose. There's every reason to believe that Groves will finish the job this time thanks to his resilience and sheer punching power. I know there's an argument that Froch simply misunderestimated Groves (as George W Bush would put it) first time around – but I don't buy it. Froch is a fine pro, and too good to have made any such amateur blunder preparing for the first bout, no matter what he says. Groves will enter the ring with more confidence – indeed, with the surefire knowledge – that he can do it. And above all he'll be burning to show that the stoppage in last November's bout was premature. Nothing fires up a man like injustice – and Groves will make Froch look old and scared.

Sean Fay (Twitter: @Sean_Fay):

Carl Froch - I've consistently underrated George Groves during his career. I didn't think he would beat James DeGale and I thought Froch would win the first fight easily. I now accept Groves is a quality fighter but I'm still going for Froch to win the rematch. This is more a vote of confidence in the Nottingham fighter than belittling Groves though. I do think Groves is the more skilful boxer but Froch won't be as complacent this time around and if he can cautiously negotiate the first half of the fight, I think he will have the power and the experience to take control in the latter stages when Groves inevitable slows down. Froch is an absolute warrior and will relish such a momentous occasion. People seem to forgetting the fact that he did actually win the first fight. Sure Groves had dominated most of the fight, sure the stoppage was soft, but Froch did have him in big trouble and I'm not sure Groves would have lasted another 30 seconds let alone another three rounds. It will probably go a little longer this time but I'm going for Froch by late stoppage.

Reda Maher (Twitter: @Reda_Eurosport):

George Groves - After the last one, I am struggling to call this other than to say I would love Groves to retire Froch, not out of any animosity towards the big man, but because it would be a fitting way to see out the old and bring in the new. Like his senior Briton, Groves is an exciting fighter; he is less brutal than Froch but smarter and more likeable as a man. It would be a huge boost for British boxing if Groves could land a world title - and could enable him drag his old mate James DeGale (who is sniffing around the big fights now) kicking and screaming into the world class category.

Marcus Foley (Twitter: @mmjfoley):

Carl Froch - Boxing, as my colleague and boxing specialist Liam Happe would suggest, is notoriously hard to call, with a promoter's talent at arranging the ‘correct’ or most ‘suitable’ opponent for their client often as important as the actual boxer’s prowess. However, both Carl Froch and George Groves appear to buck this trend and will take on all comers. It seems that Froch may not have deemed Groves an opponent that would offer him much difficulty before the first fight and it nearly cost him. One would expect that he wouldn’t make the same mistake again but the momentum is now with the Londoner. But while I expect Groves will again stay ahead on the judges' scorecards, I can see a more focused Froch earning a clearer stoppage before it comes to that.

Ben Snowball (Twitter: @BenSnowball):

Carl Froch - Groves had his chance; he won’t get another. His decision to bizarrely applaud when Howard Foster raised Froch’s arm in Manchester looked like a resignation. Applause? That’s not the response of a man truly aggrieved by a decision – and you have to wonder whether Groves really believed he would see out all 12 rounds. Yes, the referee halted the fight alarmingly prematurely but the most likely scenario would have seen a monster Froch punch sending a wobbly Groves sprawling to the canvas shortly after. Sorry, underdog fans, but Froch won’t underestimate his rival this time around.

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ROUNDTABLE VERDICT

Carl Froch - 4 votes

George Groves - 3 votes

ROUNDTABLE SUMMARY

Well, the above is a fine indicator of just how split public opinion is on this one. It's that unpredictability which sells fights, especially with the amount of boxing contests which are set up in such a one-sided manner. This is the first non-football topic to be put before the Roundtable, which shows how big an event the stadium supershow is. Ultimately, it seems the team believe Froch will nick it.

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