Fight night flutters
Sky Bet make Carl Froch odds-on to retain his IBF and WBA super middleweight titles against George Groves.
By Jamie Casey - Twitter: @SkyJamieCasey
Last Updated: 23/11/13 4:26pm
Sky Bet make Carl Froch odds-on to retain his IBF and WBA super-middleweight titles as George Groves gets his first world title shot, live on Sky Sports Box Office.
Mandatory challenger Groves (100/30) is undefeated in 19 professional fights and there's been no love lost between the former sparring partners in the build-up, with Froch (1/4) promising to make the younger man pay for questioning his achievements.
The derogatory comments appear to have got under the skin of Froch, who is 11 years Groves' senior at 36, though he shows no signs of slowing down despite putting his body through some gruelling 12-round fights.
Froch claims he does not want to finish off Groves early on as he wants the fans to get value for money, but he did suggest he'd like to go "between six and eight rounds" - he's 5/2 with Sky Bet to win in rounds 5-8.
As the favourite the pressure is on Froch, but his superior reach should prove problematic for Groves and whether he can absorb sustained pressure will perhaps prove his biggest test.
Technically, the underdog could out-smart Froch in the early rounds if his game-plan is accurate enough, but applying that against a fighter as relentless as the champion for the majority of the fight is a tall order for the 25-year-old. Groves to win inside the opening three rounds is a massive 25/1 chance.
Indeed, Groves has been the choice of the punters in the build-up to the fight, with Sky Bet receiving almost three times the number of stakes on the 25-year-old than Froch.
With 15 knock-outs, Groves does possess power, but Froch is known for his robust chin and has only ever been beaten on points by elite super-middleweights Andre Ward and Mikkel Kessler, so it will take something special from the Londoner to stop his opponent, which is a 15/2 shout.
He can be backed at 5/1 to win on the cards, though, which is perhaps his best chance - but he'll need to use his slick head movement as best he can, whilst out-thinking the favourite when he advances.
One characteristic that may work in Groves' favour is the fact that Froch tends to soak up a lot of punches, but whether that's down to a warrior's style or quite simply a suspect defence is up for debate.
Sky Bet's recommended bet: Froch to win in rounds 7-12 (2/1)
Sky Bet's safest bet: Over seven rounds (4/11)
Most popular bet with Sky Bet's customers: Groves to win (100/30)
Most popular bet in individual round betting: Froch to win in Round 4 (16/1)
Biggest long shot: Groves to win inside the opening minute (150/1)
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