sport

Wembley hosts Froch-Groves II

Wembley Stadium has been confirmed as the venue for Carl Froch's rematch with George Groves.

The historic football ground was chosen to stage the second fight between the two bitter rivals on May 31, which will be shown live on Sky Sports Box Office.

The two Brits will meet in the first bout to be contested under the arch of the new Wembley Stadium after Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn confirmed the news on Tuesday morning.

Hearn had previously said he was looking for an 'audacious' venue to host the second meeting of Froch and Groves as Arsenal's Emirates Stadium and the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff were also mooted.

Froch stopped Groves in the ninth round of their last contest but controversy followed with many experts suggesting referee Howard Foster stepped in when Groves was able to continue.

Nottingham-born Froch kept hold of his belts despite being knocked to the mat by Groves in the opening round but, earlier this year, the IBF ordered a re-match.

The decision will have given Wembley staff quite a headache as the stadium would need to be fit for purpose having hosted England's friendly against Peru just 24 hours earlier.

Froch, 36, said he was proud to be part of a fight at the new Wembley, labelling the announcement as "massive".

He told Sky Sports News: "When we sort of announced that we are looking at Nottingham Forest, we're looking at Wembley, we're looking at the Emirates, there was a few people complaining about me having hometown advantage.

"I didn't like that because the job I'm going to do on George Groves is going to be so conclusive. I don't want anyone to say he had the crowd. I don't want any excuses. No more whingers."

Froch admits he will give Groves much more respect ahead of their return bout.

The 36-year-old world champion was floored in the opening round and had to hold off a ferocious onslaught from his younger challenger in their first fight in November.

Froch seized control in the ninth round, staggering Groves with a sustained assault which prompted the contentious stoppage from referee Howard Foster.

There was plenty of bad blood in the build-up to the fight and Froch accepts he did not treat Groves seriously enough as an opponent.

"I'm guilty of not giving George Groves the respect he deserves in the first fight. It was difficult to because he was talking so much trash.

"George Groves had not boxed anyone ranked in the top 15 in the world. That's the facts," said Froch

"He still hasn't beaten anyone ranked in the top 15 in the world, because the only person he did fight was me and let's not forget that result. It was a round nine stoppage. But I do need to give him a little more attention, a little more boxing respect and go in there totally focused and totally prepared, which I wasn't in the first fight.

"I get to do it all over again, but this time I'll finish the job properly, finish it conclusively and leave no question marks. I'm so excited that I'm going to give George Groves an absolute pasting in front of such a big crowd on a massive event. I cannot wait."

The previous best attendance for a British boxing match was 57,000 for Ricky Hatton's homecoming fight against Juan Lazcano at the City of Manchester Stadium in 2008.

Froch-Groves II is expected to break this record and the 'Cobra' is privileged to be part of such a huge domestic fight.

"For me to be involved in such a big event like this, it's a very proud moment," said Froch.

"Through my whole career as a professional, I've never fought at a stadium. It ticks one of the boxes for me. Not many boxers get the chance to fight in an outdoor event, especially a stadium as fantastic as Wembley.

"We're going to get closure on this whole Carl Froch-George Groves saga. I'm really looking forward to putting on this display and putting him behind me in this fabulous stadium, in the capital city, on Sky Sports Box Office. It doesn't get any bigger than this for British boxing."