There were no punches pulled when members of the Ladbrokes News team went toe-to-toe to decide who will come out on top when Carl Froch and George Groves face off at Wembley.
Craig Kemp, William Geldart, Sam Foster, Oliver Yew and James Curtis have all gone the full distance and given their big fight verdicts ahead of the much anticipated rematch.
And it’s the challenger George Groves who has shaded this contest and won in a split decision – but can he do it on the night?
Craig Kemp says: “I’m not buying comments from Froch that he underestimated Groves in the first fight, champions should always be ready.
“Froch can be a bit one dimensional and over reliant on landing one big punch. It would be no surprise if the best part of six years fighting top-level super-middleweights has finally taken its toll.
“Groves’ speed did look too much for Froch and it was only his durability that got him to the latter stages. If Groves paces himself better and gets his gameplan right, as he has done previously against James DeGale, he can make it second time lucky.”
William Geldart says: “Has George Groves already blown his big shot at glory? I think he has. No longer the plucky underdog, Carl Froch knows what’s coming now and this time he’s mentally and physically ready for it.
“Just as it looked as if we were witnessing The Cobra’s demise in the pair’s first encounter, the Nottingham fighter dug deep to (albeit, controversially) stop a tiring Groves.
“Only Froch’s own unwavering belief that he ‘can’t be knocked out’ could cost him if he walks onto another clubbing right hand from Groves in the early rounds.
“But I expect Froch to be quicker and smarter this time round, while retaining the same mental and physical strength that will see him take the fight away from The Saint in the championship rounds.”
Sam Foster says: “Considering what happened in the first fight and Ladbrokes’ odds for round two at Wembley Stadium, my decision is a simple one – Groves wins.
“Everyone is talking about how Froch will be better prepared this time around but exactly the same applies to Groves and I fully expect the ‘underdog’ to end The Cobra’s career at the national stadium.”
Oliver Yew says: “The Nottingham fighter looks an entirely different animal to the one that was riled by George Groves in the build up to the first fight in Manchester six months ago and that could spell bad news for fans of the Londoner.
“Groves had the element of surprise in the first encounter but, controversial stoppage aside, he still could not beat the worst Carl Froch we had seen in years.
“The Cobra, who looks physically and mentally sharp this time around, won’t be as bad this time around and he certainly won’t make the same mistakes again with his legacy on the line at Wembley – Froch wins by a late stoppage!”
James Curtis says: “This is shaping up to be an epic battle at Wembley and looks increasingly difficult to call.
“But I’ve got to trust my gut (#GutTruster) though and that says Groves will finish the job inside six rounds.
“It’s the better story for the sport, with Froch soon to retire, and Saint George will be more confident coming into this from the first fight knowing that his superior hand speed is too much for The Cobra in the early exchanges.”
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All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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