London – British super-middleweight rivals Carl Froch and George Groves have agreed to a rematch of their controversial first encounter last year, promoter Eddie Hearn announced on Thursday.

Froch beat Groves with a contentious ninth-round stoppage when they met in Manchester last November and Groves will have a chance to gain revenge on May 31.

Froch's IBF and WBA titles will both be at stake, prompting Matchroom promoter Hearn to declare: “Quite simply, I believe this is one of the biggest fights in British boxing history.

“It was one of the most epic and exhilarating fights I've ever witnessed and I'm delighted the public are going to get a chance to see it all again. The unanswered questions from the first fight may now be answered.

“Get ready for a whirlwind of a build-up and an event and fight for the ages – Froch v Groves II is on.”

News of the fight will settle demand for a rematch in Britain after the controversy sparked by the first fight.

Groves, the underdog, floored Froch in the first round and was ahead on the judges' scorecards when referee Howard Foster stepped in to stop the fight in the ninth round after Froch unleashed a barrage of punches.

Froch was initially reluctant to grant Groves a rematch, with Hearn revealing last month that negotiations had become “frustrating”, but he now appears to have bowed to public demand. – Sapa-AFP