George Groves – why British boxer should be proud of his career

0

Groves floored Froch inside a round and looked on course for a massive upset when they first met in 2013

Muhammad Ali, Henry Cooper, Frank Bruno, Wladimir Klitschko, Anthony Joshua.

A handful of iconic names have topped a fight card at Wembley Stadium and George Groves will be remembered as one of them.

Defeat on the grandest stage at the hands of Carl Froch in 2014 risks dulling his name on such a list but Groves had no need to include the line “I believe I have been good for boxing” in his retirement statement on Monday.

He has been.

Making the masses tune in

Froch (right) knocked Groves out with a right hand which commentator Mike Costello said was one of the best punches ever in a British ring

The wave British boxing is riding owes much to many: television broadcasters, the London 2012 Olympic springboard, polished promoters, social media, Joshua’s class, Tyson Fury’s charisma and a world-renowned GB Boxing amateur set-up churning out talent.

They can all claim impact – but we should add Groves to that list, too.

The Londoner – just 25 at the time – played villain in cultivating a rivalry with Carl Froch in 2013, yet left Manchester Arena to cheers having won countless fans in a gallant and controversial defeat.

Before both of his fights with Froch, Groves helped to develop the frenzied, almost stratospheric interest by going out of his way to get under his opponent’s skin with both his barbs and his behaviour.

When Froch claimed his champion status was not being respected, Groves upped the ante – labelling his rival “insecure”.