Wembley Stadium to host Froch vs. Groves re-match

Wednesday, 5 March 2014 01:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

REUTERS: Wembley Stadium will host the re-match between WBA and IBF super-middleweight champion Carl Froch and George Groves on 31 May with promoters expecting to sell more tickets than for any post-World War Two fight in Britain. The fight will be the first staged at the new national stadium in North London, which re-opened in 2007 and seats 90,000. “I think we have got the product to fill stadiums like this. When you get an opportunity to do so, you have to grab it with both hands,” promoter Eddie Hearn told the BBC. “This is the ultimate, in my opinion - steeped in history - and this is the first fight at the new stadium. And what a fight.” The two Britons first clashed at the Manchester Arena in November when Groves, 25, was controversially stopped by 36-year-old Froch in the ninth of 12 scheduled rounds. Groves had floored Nottingham-based Froch in the opening round and was ahead on the judges’ cards when referee Howard Foster stepped in. “I don’t want to fight in Nottingham. Nottingham’s not big enough,” Froch told Sky Sports news. “It only holds the best part of 30,000. “I am just so excited that I am going to give George Groves an absolute pasting in front of such a big crowd.” The current highest attendance recorded at a British bout was 55,000 who watched local IBO light-welterweight champion Ricky Hatton take on Mexican Juan Lazcano at the City of Manchester stadium in 2008. The last fight at the old Wembley stadium was the WBC heavyweight title clash in 1995 between Britain’s Frank Bruno and American Oliver McCall which the home favourite won on points to become champion at the fourth attempt. Henry Cooper and Muhammad Ali, then known as Cassius Clay, fought a non-title bout in front of 35,000 at the stadium in 1963. England are due to play a pre-World Cup friendly against Peru at Wembley on the night before the fight but Hearn was confident any logistical difficulties could be overcome.