Froch, Groves rematch at Wembley

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iol spt mar4 Groves-Froch Getty Images London's Wembley Stadium will host the May 31 rematch between bitter British super-middleweight rivals Carl Froch and George Groves. Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images

London's Wembley Stadium will host the May 31 rematch between bitter British super-middleweight rivals Carl Froch and George Groves, organisers announced on Tuesday.

IBF and WBA champion Froch beat Groves with a contentious ninth-round stoppage when they met in Manchester last November and their rematch is tipped to be one of the biggest fights in British boxing history.

Groves floored Froch in the first round of their first encounter and was ahead on all three judges' scorecards when referee Howard Foster halted the fight following a flurry of punches from Froch in the ninth.

“It needs to be held at a big stadium because it is such a good fight,” Froch, 36, told Sky Sports News.

“I don't want people to say that I had the crowd on my side. I don't want to have people whinging. I am going to do such a job on George Groves.”

Wembley, which has a maximum capacity of 90,000, has not been the venue for a boxing match since it was rebuilt in 2007. It is due to host a football friendly between England and Peru just 24 hours earlier.

“The fight being at Wembley is brilliant news -- it is fantastic for many reasons for me,” said 25-year-old London fighter Groves.

“It is a huge fight and it is going to be a great night. Everyone who wants to get involved can get involved at such a big stadium.”

The last fight to be held at the old Wembley took place in 1995, when 23,000 spectators saw home favourite Frank Bruno beat American Oliver McCall to claim the world heavyweight title at the fourth attempt.

The arena was also the venue for a famous 1963 fight between British star Henry Cooper and future great Muhammad Ali, then known as Cassius Clay, who survived a fourth-round knockdown to win in round five.

The post-War attendance record for a fight in Britain is held by Ricky Hatton and Juan Lazcano, who fought in front of 55,000 people at the City of Manchester Stadium in 2008. – AFP

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