Carl Froch beats George Groves with controversial stoppage
By Ben DirsBBC Sport at the Manchester Arena
Carl Froch retained his WBA and IBF super-middleweight titles with a ninth-round stoppage of George Groves at Manchester Arena.
Froch, 36, was floored by underdog Groves in the first round and was playing catch-up thereafter.
After some thrilling exchanges the challenger was ahead on all three judges' scorecards going into the ninth, when Froch turned things around.
However, while Groves did seem to be in some trouble when the fight was stopped, the referee probably stepped in too soon.
Steve BunceBBC boxing pundit
I'm not sure what to make of that at the end - Groves was defending himself. It started with boos and it ended with boos - they weren't boos against Groves, they were boos for the decision.
The crowd, who had jeered the 25-year-old Groves into the ring, certainly thought so, booing both the champion and the decision.
Nottingham's Froch said he would be open to a rematch, and while he has other options, he might not be able to avoid a return bout with Groves.
Other options for three-time world champion Froch include a rematch with American Andre Ward, who beat him in 2011, or hard-hitting WBA middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin.
"Let's have a rematch [against Groves] and sort it out," said the champion.
The veteran fighter said that referee Howard Foster from Doncaster made the correct decision to halt the fight.
"He's is a very experienced referee. George had his head low and I had a free shot and the referee had a split-second decision to make. It was dangerous and he had to put the safety of the fighter first."
Groves made plenty of confident noises before the fight, despite his relative inexperience.
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