Jon Dunham – I can’t wait for this re-match

Northamptonshire Telegraph's sports writers Jon Dunham, Jim Lyon and Alec Swann.
Northamptonshire Telegraph's sports writers Jon Dunham, Jim Lyon and Alec Swann.

I certainly wouldn’t describe myself as an expert when it comes to boxing.

But I like to think I know a good boxing match when I see one.

Therefore, I, like so many others, am delighted by the news that we will all get to see the super-middleweight re-match between Carl Froch and George Groves.

I am old enough to recall the classic bouts between Nigel Benn and Chris Eubank back in the early 1990s.

And while they were of a different time, the British boxing scene seems to have stumbled upon a similar rivalry which will once again explode at the end of May.

I am happy to admit that I thought the first fight was over-hyped in the build-up.

Froch seemed to be the firm favourite, rightly so. A fighting champion who had been somewhat understated by certain parts of the media.

But the reason everyone wants to see the re-match this spring is because of what Groves did in the first fight in Manchester back in November.

The young Londoner was a heavy underdog. I watched the fight with people who certainly know their boxing and they were in no doubt that Froch would win and win convincingly.

But Groves did two things that evening. Firstly, he shook the champion up by knocking him on his backside in the first round.

However, the most important thing he did was turn the crowd inside the Evening News Arena and the general boxing world in his favour.

Everyone loves an underdog and Groves fought almost a faultless fight until he walked into Froch’s tirade of punches in the ninth round.

The stoppage was controversial, indeed it was downright wrong. The paying public, both inside the venue and watching on television, deserved to see a decisive finish.

If Froch was destined to knock him out then he should have been given the chance to finish the job.

And quite why Groves wasn’t, as you would normally expect, given a standing eight count at the time only the referee will know.

But what happened happened. It was controversial and after the way the first fight finished, a re-match was always likely to happen - mainly because the public demanded it.

The first fight caught the imagination of boxing fans across the world and that is why it is similar to those classic encounters between Benn and Eubank all those years ago.

Froch and Groves made it a classic because they are both excellent fighters. And it is always better when there is a bit of needle thrown into the equation.

All the ingredients are there. Re-matches are rarely better than the first. But, in this case, I don’t believe that will happen.

Regardless of who wins (I think Froch will), these two superb British fighters will write their names into boxing history at the end of May.

And I, for one, can’t wait to watch it all over again.