It was touch and go for a while but Froch-Groves II is on - and it's going to be massive.
With two enormous egos and both men claiming bragging rights from their first fight, negotiations were never going to be easy.
But the announcement of a rematch has set tongues wagging, people are baying for a location to be revealed and clamouring for tickets.
I can't think of a fight that's generated such interest on this scale - even non-boxing fans are excited.
Boxing needs huge fights like this. They don't come along very often but when they do, you can't afford to miss it.
And I'm certain this bout is going to live up to the hype, as well. In fact, I think it will be better than the rematch between Nigel Benn and Chris Eubank.
If you're a fighter who has achieved as much as Carl Froch has, to all of a sudden see all that diminished because of one fight, that must be heart-breaking.
Quotes of the week
There's real bad feeling between these two. If you'd tried to get them in the same room to negotiate the contract it would have exploded. And that adds to the intrigue.
A few weeks ago Carl Froch was talking about his other options - and he did have other options. He could have fought Julio Cesar Chavez and, because of the way he fights, Froch is big box office in America.
But it would have been very hard for him to move on with public opinion the way it is.
After that last fight no one talked about his past glories and successes. Instead, people just wanted to debate whether the Groves fight was stopped too early.
Some think it was, some think it wasn't, but if you're a fighter who has achieved as much as Carl Froch has, to all of a sudden see all that diminished because of one fight, that must be heart-breaking.
He must be thinking 'don't define me by that one fight. What about the fights before? No boxer has done what I did, I fought the best in the world in my last 12 fights.'
But people ignored that and it must be bugging him.
George Groves, meanwhile, has talked himself into big business. I don't know what purse he's got for this but he'd have got it nowhere else; even if he'd boxed Andre Ward he wouldn't have got this kind of money. Andre Ward wouldn't even be able to command the money this fight will generate!
Shortly after the announcement, Sky Bet made Froch favourite to win the rematch - and I'd agree with that at this stage.
We all got emotionally involved in the fight when it happened the first time but if you're a seasoned champion you know what the championship rounds are.
They're not just words, they're the last quarter of a fight, when you're starting to flag, when you're tired, when you're fatigued, when your mind wanders, when you're hurt, when you have to dig in deep. That's when a champion turns it around and produces the win.
And in Manchester, that's when Froch showed what a champion he is. He managed to turn it around and put the pressure on Groves.
The problem Froch had before the first fight was he couldn't mentally respect George Groves. But now Groves has got his respect.
George did something Froch didn't expect him to do last time. Now, Froch will go in there with the same attitude as when he boxed Lucian Bute; he'll be going in there with fear, knowing there's the possibility of being embarrassed, being knocked out, being hurt.
His legacy is on the line here.
As a result, I expect it's going to be a completely different fight this time around. Froch has to bring out his 'A' game. If his time as champion is truly up, then we'll see that on fight night.
Will Browne says...
If Groves wins, there will be a 3rd fight as Froch will demand a re-match. If Froch wins, its basically all over for a 3rd fight with Groves...
Posted 12:29 18th February 2014
Terry Board says...
Some boxers will only have one style of fighting. I cannot believe at this stage if his career, Froch will change. All world class boxers at the very top can take hard punches, this is what makes Froch a top fighter, not his ability to adapt. Groves, however, can adapt. He ran out of steam a bit towards the end of first fight, due to standing and trading a little too long in latter rounds. He realises this. He will measure his trades this time, and box a little more in last 3 or 4 rounds. Froch will not be able to lay a glove on him. Groves to win, 3 round margin.
Posted 12:09 18th February 2014
Phillip Rowlands says...
Yeah and we all hope Groves knocks Froch out cold.
Posted 10:34 18th February 2014
Phil Hawkins says...
I think Groves had his chance and blew it. I agree that the stoppage appeared premature but Groves was out on his feet and the end was inevitable. He won't catch Froch cold again, the element of surprise is gone as has Groves chances.
Posted 10:13 18th February 2014
Steven Adams says...
A fasinating fight coming up and it really is a 50-50 call. Froch will be better prepared but I think Groves hand speed is going to be to quick for Froch. If Groves can not be foolish and tighten his defence and still be as acurate and fast as the last fight then we really have got a fantastic fight on our hands. Froch will never give up and that is going to wear down Groves. My prediction Groves in the 5th.
Posted 10:12 18th February 2014
Liam Mulligan says...
@Neil Williams....Collins is British now? Buy a map chief....
Posted 10:05 18th February 2014
Dan Whitworth says...
It amuses me reading some of the comments on this story. I feel alot of the comments on here come from non boxing fans. There is an argument to say the fight was stopped prematurely, but there is no argument of who was going to win that fight. Groves had the better of the earlier rounds as everyone knows and even put Froch down early however Groves had absolutely no protection for the barrage of shots that would have come in from Froch had the referee not stopped the fight. Groves would have been hurt badly and everyone would be questionning why it wasn't stopped earlier. That is why the fight was not called a no contest. Froch won that fight and in his head he will know that he can take all that Groves has to offer and still beat him and Groves will have that in the back of his mind even if he doesn't admit it in public.
Posted 09:53 18th February 2014
Eamonn Cahill says...
Johnny you got it spot on. I'd like to just make a comment about each fighter. Carl Froch is an amazing fighter. Some people quick to knock him . He fought all the best out there and fair play to him. A true Legend. British boxers knocking him , jealousy i feel . George Groves a good boxer, but so so annoying. He lost to Carl and to James but some reason given the fight against James. Carl going to beat him again and his career be in tatters. Like to see a rematch against James de Gale
Posted 09:46 18th February 2014
Paul Barnes says...
groves was robbed last time out can see putting it right this time around..
Posted 08:52 18th February 2014
Neil Williams says...
I doubt very much whether it will be better than Eubank Vs Benn II, but it could be the biggest british fight since. Eubank and Benn were a lot tougher than Froch and Groves. They draw the public attention in an extra ordinary way because they were both different in character. Back then,there was a genuine dislike between them as well as a mutual respect that captured the public's imagination. No british fighters will be more electrifying than Eubank and Benn. Eubank, Benn, Watson and Collins were the golden era of british boxing and it would take a lot to match that.
Posted 07:19 18th February 2014
Tam Ramsay says...
Not so sure Johnny, these are two fighters at different stages in their career. Froch has been there and done it may be a bit shop worn (especially from the first fight with Groves) whereas Groves is a potential emerging superstar. Groves might just have his number but then Froch may rise to the occasson this time, knowing that he needs to put this to bed. Cant pick em but if I did I'd probbaly go for Groves, just because he's fresher and maybe wants it more.
Posted 04:34 18th February 2014
Adi Stokes says...
Two really charged fighters should be a top rematch but honestly i did think groves lost it towards the end of the fight don't get me wrong i was just a upset (being polite) as anybody when the first fight stopped but watching boxing over many years and being involved in the sport groves had one more round left in him max maybe he could have got the knock out in the round we will never know but when you look to the ground and look away from the punches that its game over mates if you cant see what to defend your self against then enough is enough. yes carl could have handled it better after the fight but why should he respect is earned not giving and carl has said he respects his fighting side to the game but not his general attitude. and to be fair carl has earned his respect remember the ward fight that was serious and carl took that punch after punch when i see groves go 12 rounds against ward then he can mouth off to his hearts content but don't let him get carried away after all all he did was but carl on his bum for a few secs ? didn't see the ref get involved then ?
Posted 23:53 17th February 2014
Colin Glass says...
i thought the referee was too quick to stop the first fight. Groves gave his all but was tired out in the latter stages, I still think Froch will show his class and knock Groves out by the eighth round
Posted 22:13 17th February 2014
Laj Sharma says...
Look, Froch underestimated Groves and that's why Froch got knocked down. Carl was in the zone when he fought Lucian Bute and he will be better mentally prepared this time. If he fights like I saw him when he fought Bute, Groves will not get past 10 rounds! Andre Ward could not knock Froch out in 12 rounds so I don't think Groves can...and we all know wat Ward is about and how he demolished Chad Dawson. Froch will knockout Groves and cement his legacy as one of the best fighters this country has produced and he has never avoided any fighter in the world and fought all the best American fighters in there back yard!! Even though Groves will lose he is still young and eventually will win one of the title belts!!
Posted 22:01 17th February 2014
Michael George says...
CAN'T WAIT FOR THE FIGHT.
Posted 21:52 17th February 2014
Rory Webb says...
Nelson could be right- i have always rated George so highly since the Degale fight .....rematches are never taken lightly.....If Groves is to win he knows he will have to prepare for a Froch onslaught...this could just come down to who is more mentally stronger - l just hope the best man wins to fight Chavez !!!
Posted 21:46 17th February 2014
Jeffrey Forde says...
Groves to box a more cautious fight this time and not expend too much energy. The Saint to edge out a points decision by a couple of rounds. Carl will be more respectful of what George brings to the table and this will play into George's hands. Youth to come out on top on the night.
Posted 21:30 17th February 2014
Fred Stephen says...
I think Groves Chance has gone , Froch won't be as foolish this time and I am not impressed with Groves and all the whinging he has done , let's not forget that it wasn't Froch that stopped the fight , it was the referee . Groves threw everything at a very laboured Froch and Froch walked through them and came back stronger and without a doubt was really going to hurt Groves in the round it was stopped . I think Froch will be up for it this time and we will. See the champion that he is ..
Posted 21:22 17th February 2014
Richard Gallagher says...
Theres arguements for both fighters , but the way I see it froch took groves best shots and was still there , look how groves was for a short while of froch's not best shots , im expecting the same sort of fight with groves looking really good , but over 12 rounds froch will catch up with him in the second half of the fight , tko victory for froch rounds 9- 12
Posted 20:03 17th February 2014
Jon Kennedy says...
Froch to win by a knockout, probably in the later rounds. It will be tough but Froch quite simply is the greatest British boxer of this generation. Mentally he has no equal and with his dedication and professionalism he will prevail. No other British boxer including Joe has fought so many top 10. Respect. As for mighty mouth, no honour, no respect and no class, quite simply he will never be as successfull and will suffer his 2nd defeat to the hand of a man nearly 37.
Posted 19:44 17th February 2014