Friday, February 28, 2014
Froch-Groves II to air on HBO
By Dan Rafael
When super middleweight titlist Carl Froch and British countryman George Groves met on Nov. 23, HBO had hoped to televise the fight from Manchester, England.
However, that was the same day that Manny Pacquiao was facing Brandon Rios on HBO PPV in Macau, meaning HBO had to pass on the fight.
Carl Froch got off the canvas to score a controversial stoppage over George Groves during their first fight last November.
As it turned out, Froch (32-2, 23 KOs), trailing on all three scorecards, got a ninth-round knockout victory against Groves (19-1, 15 KOs) when referee Howard John Foster made one of the most controversial stoppages in recent boxing history in what otherwise was a highly entertaining battle.
Foster's stoppage was so egregious that when Groves protested to the IBF, which sanctioned the bout for one of Froch's titles, the organization ordered an immediate rematch and called Foster's action "inappropriate conduct."
So when the rematch was made for May 31 -- site in the United Kingdom to be determined -- the question was would HBO televise the fight in the U.S. the second time around?
We got the answer on Friday and it was a good one -- yes. HBO said it finalized a deal with promoter Eddie Hearn for the American broadcast rights to the bout and will air the fight live in the afternoon.
"Carl Froch vs. George Groves is an exciting rematch that boxing fans around the globe are going to enjoy," HBO Sports president Ken Hershman said in a statement given to ESPN.com. "We are delighted that HBO is going to be able to televise the fight live in the United States. This shapes up as an important fight in the super middleweight division."
Hearn told ESPN.com he was happy to get the deal done after being unable to do so for the first fight.
"I'm over the moon to agree a deal with HBO to televise this fight," Hearn said. "This fight is one of, if not the biggest fight in British boxing history and it's great news for U.S. fight fans they will get the chance to see it live on HBO. If you need a trailer, then watch the first one."
The fight is Sky Sports pay-per-view event in the U.K.