I’ve always wanted to go to a live boxing match ever since I watched my first Rocky movie. I love the Rocky films and yes before anyone says it I do realise that is all made up to make a story. I enjoyed them and I’ve had an interest in boxing ever since.
I can remember watching a few different boxers on the TV over the years but when it came to my first live fight I wanted something big and exciting and it didn’t come much bigger than the Froch v Groves rematch on Saturday night.
I’d been following the boxers and others on Twitter to get the excitement building up to the fight so I was ready when Saturday came.
I had a suspicion that Froch would win but seeing as Groves is a fellow Hammersmithsonian and a Chelsea supporter to boot he had my allegiance on night. In truth I didn’t mind who won I just wanted to see a good fight and we weren’t let down.
The fight card started with Anthony Joshua v Matt Legg with Joshua winning with a K/O in the first round but we didn’t get there in time to see the fight.
Next up was Jamie McDonnell v Tabtimdaeng Na Rachawat which saw McDonnell victorious in the 10th round.
By this point in the evening the stadium was barely full and people hadn’t really started watching the fighting, preferring to settle in and catch up with their mates. When the knock out was shown on the big screens the crowd that were in the Stadium were suitably impressed.
The third fight was Kevin Mitchell v Ghislain Maduma with Mitchell over his fighting weight and therefore unable to fight for the IBF World Lightweight Belt in the following match. Mitchell won in the 11th round although Maduma was up on the judges scoring.
Then was the turn of James DeGale who after convincingly dispatching Brandon Gonzales in the 4th round goes on to fight the winner of the last fight of the night Carl Froch. The crowd was by this point fired up on beer and excitement and cheering James on for the win as the sun went down.
Just after the second round began a fight broke out in the stand near where we were sitting and it all got a bit hectic as everyone was watching that rather than DeGale. I saw a few punches being thrown and people reaching for camera phones, so I should probably check out You Tube to see what happened!
After the fight DeGale was interviewed in the stadium and asked who he wanted to win. He said ‘I’m ready for the winner of Froch vs Groves. I don’t care who wins, I’ll do both of them. Hopefully Groves gets knocked out, if he doesn’t, I’ll deal with him next.’
I guess he was a happy man by the end of the night. I’m already considering getting tickets for the Froch v DeGale fight, depending on where it will be held.
So to the big fight of the night. The bars were closed. The music was turned up loud and people were dancing in the stands.
Wembley was transformed into a big open air nightclub with everyone displaying their best moves and out to impress. I think a half time dance off should be introduced to football matches because everyone was enjoying themselves and the atmosphere was rocking.
The stadium went dark, the strobe lighting began and the phone cameras came out, it all looked very beautiful. The chant went up for Saint George as Kasabian, Underdog began blaring out.
Then the flames started and a red open top bus appeared in the corner with Groves getting off and walking to a platform with fire rockets going off behind him while he stood and drunk in the noise from the crowd before taking a final walk into the ring.
The crowd began cheering and booing as the announcer called for Froch to enter the ring. We Will Rock You began blaring out as Froch walked to the platform then AC/DC Shoot To Thrill and the Fireworks began as he took in the crowd before finally entering the ring.
The music stopped and the crowd took over once more as the announcer began to welcome us to the big fight barely audible over the excited and highly pumped up crowd.
The crowd in the arena was predominantly backing Froch from the cheers on the screens when he was shown compared to the boos for Groves.
I had Groves scored up 3 rounds to 1 going into the 5th round when he looked like he started to tire.
At one point in the 4th round he hit Froch with some brutal punches and he seemed to have a wobble across the ring only for him to come back swinging.
I think the early energy and chasing from Groves was starting to take its toll and as the fight wore on Froch began to connect more pressing punches.
The fight was pretty even with both fighters throwing heavy punches until the final blow came the 8th round when Froch caught Groves on the chin with a brutal right hook that would have seen anyone on the canvas.
I’m not sure what I found worse when the endless replays began after the fight was declared, wincing from seeing the punch to the chin from every conceivable angle or wincing at seeing the way Groves feel awkwardly on his leg.
There were a couple of small annoyances about the night. Sky Box Office were filming the fights to go out live on air. We paid considerably more to see the fight live in the stadium and yet when the fighters were walking to the ring all we could see on the big screens was a sign advertising Sky Box Office.
The main part of the fight build up was lost to all in the stadium and that was a shame. It would have been nice to have the fight commentary going out in the stadium too, although the interviews that were broadcast after the fights weren’t very audible.
I wanted my first live boxing match to be something memorable and it certainly was. I enjoyed myself and will probably go to more fights in the future. Apparently York Hall is a good place to watch live fights so I must check that out.
It was such a good atmosphere in the stadium, we were treated to some great boxing and it was really nice to see so many people enjoying themselves in the mild English weather.