Carl Froch vs. George Groves Reportedly to Take Place at Emirates Stadium

Dave HornbyFeatured ColumnistJanuary 27, 2014

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 23:  Carl Froch (L) in action with George Groves during their IBF and WBA World Super Middleweight bout at Phones4u Arena on November 23, 2013 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)
Scott Heavey/Getty Images

Arsenal Football Club's Emirates Stadium could be the venue for the Carl Froch vs. George Groves rematch at the end of May.

ESPN reports that national newspaper The Times has information on the proposed bout:

The 60,000-capacity Emirates Stadium has emerged as a likely venue if an agreement is reached, as well as Nottingham Forest's City Ground, which holds over 30,000.

Froch is known to be keen to fight in Las Vegas before he retires, but it is looking more likely that he will have to stay closer to home in order to end his feud with compatriot Groves.

Jul 12, 2012; London, UNITED KINGDOM; Aerial view of the Emirates Stadium, the home facility for the Arsenal football club of the English Premier League. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Since its opening in 2006 as a replacement for Highbury, the Emirates Stadium has been used for a number of large events, yet Froch-Groves II could be the first boxing encounter.  

The Emirates has hosted a number of Brazil international football matches and has been used as a music venue for artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Muse and Coldplay with an increased capacity of 72,000.

Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn has also touted Wembley Stadium—which has a 90,000 capacity—as a potential venue for one of the most eagerly anticipated rematches of the year, per Hearn's Mail Online column.

On Friday, the International Boxing Federation (IBF) ruled that Froch must face Groves within 90 days or be stripped of his super middleweight champion belt.  This followed an appeal by Groves to the IBF on grounds that the finish to their first bout was unsatisfactory when the two fighters met in November 2013:

The IBF agreed with Groves' appeal and ordered that the London-born boxer must be given another shot at Froch, per BBC Sport:

The panel felt that in the ninth round, Groves should have been allowed to continue as he did not appear to be seriously hurtand was counter-punching and attempting to move the action away from the ropes at the time of the stoppage.

In addition, the referee waved off the fight from behind Groves instead of in front of him and did not look into his eyes. Groves showed no signs of being hurt after the stoppage. In sum, the panel felt it was an improper stoppage.

Despite the IBF's ruling, Hearn took to Twitter to say that Froch has other options than just Groves—mainly believed to be Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.—but he is hopeful that the rematch with Groves will take place despite an initial seven-figure offer being turned down:

Froch must now decide what means more to him. If he rejects the Groves rematch and vacates the belt, he will look like he's running from his rival. However, with few years left in the tank, he may decide it's a necessary evil to book a Vegas bout with Chavez Jr.