Froch vs. Groves - a study in depending on technique vs. not.

Discussion in 'Standup Technique' started by Sinister, Jan 4, 2014.

  1. Sinister Doctor of Doom

    Sinister
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    I'd heard about this fight for a few weeks now, and in retrospect I should have looked at it sooner. Some of you guys may be familiar with the work of Carl Froch. I like Froch a lot, because he embodies some of the things I admired most about fighters who are somewhat cyborg-like (whereas I myself was always more of a thinking fighter). As I've said about his fight with Lucian Bute, you can be more skilled than Froch all you want, might not stop him from kicking your ass. He's tough, gritty, KNOWS he can take it, BELIEVES he can hurt you, and furthermore while he's not the most technically savvy guy out there, he's not stupid. He understands principals of the game. Not many people have been able to exploit his lack of fundamentals enough to get a definitive victory over him, the closest thing to that was Andre Ward.

    So he takes what is considered a stay busy fight against George Groves. Groves had a decent European Amateur background, and was thus far undefeated as a Pro. Still people picked Froch to easily dismantle Groves inside the distance. What little did they know how the bout would unfold, take a look:



    Now, of course, there's things Groves does that I don't like. We'll get to that in a minute. But let's look at why Froch had so many problems with this guy he was supposed to make quick work of:

    - From the onset, the opening bell, Groves secures positioning. Remember the digger diagram:

    [​IMG]

    Groves becomes Digger A from the start, and Froch never challenges him for the positioning or say, throws punches designed to raise Groves' elevation. This makes the fight twice as difficult.

    - Groves also establishes threat to the center line from the get-go, when at range. This is also something Andre Ward does. Froch relies on quick timing when he counter-punches. His job in utilizing this becomes more difficult if you are always facing him. His habit of walking around gets his opponents to relax a bit too much, false sense of confidence. In this bout Groves rarely obliges.

    - Groves measures and thus, controls distance from the get-go. He gets Froch jabbing into his right glove. It seems innocent and playful enough at first, until he starts discarding the pick of Froch's jab and instead offering counters of his own. He is effectively using control of distance to counter the counter-puncher. This is something he does less and less of as time goes on and it seems he lost control of distance in particularly the last two rounds. But when he would go back to doing this simple thing, he would control the space between he and Froch. Froch, from a poor position initially, finds himself reaching for all of his punches. And particularly reaching downward. Groves takes initiative of Froch's compromise with his counters. This is the basic picking jab drill at work.



    - Groves performs the classic "up and down" threats. He employs a lovely up-jab, which gets Froch wary of attacks coming from underneath. His reaction is to pull back and away, which puts him right in line for the downward attack of Groves' right hand. Remember the fencing principal of a weapon in each hand, one threat goes under, one goes over:

    [​IMG]

    Froch fails repeatedly to avoid the downward threat of the right hand.

    Now the negatives...because Groves is, after all, inexperienced on the World level:

    - After landing beautiful right hands (albeit not my preferred technique for them), Groves often compromised his own positioning by falling in on Froch. Once Froch got wise to this, he'd pepper Groves for his trouble. This is because Groves' balance is not all that good. His lack of balance is also why he would respond poorly to being hit. Froch has very good natural balance, and if anyone hasn't noticed, often keeps his back straight, chin down, and chest up. He is in good positions to RECEIVE force.

    - Groves can't fight well on the inside. This is where we get to the old discussion of guards. When Groves would end up on the inside his FIRST measure of defense was too often to put the ear muffs on, square up, and hope for the best. At times it did seem his intention was to allow Froch to punch, and try to counter between shots. That's not a bad philosophy, but it works on dumb fighters. Not guys like Carl Froch. Many times when Groves did not do that, and instead kept his inside positioning similar to his outside positioning, he either didn't get hit at all, or was able to use leverage to move Froch back, nullifying his offense. But Groves did not do that enough.

    - Groves had a hard time avoiding right hands himself. Moving away often INTO the path of the right hand, as opposed to towards and past it. This gave Froch confidence in his own right hand.

    - Groves lost his head as time went on. Getting sucked into a battle of machismo, as opposed to continuing to out-think Froch, which was also facilitating an ability to out-fight Froch.

    If you look at all of the slow-mo's between the rounds. You can see some of the stuff I've mentioned demonstrated as well. Pure coincidence, but it works out for learning purposes. Groves really had Froch's number over the entire course of this fight, it'll be interesting to see what adjustments Froch has to make if they agree to a re-match based on the early stoppage.

    P.S. - A lot of people have asked me over time about watching/analyzing bouts. With this thread you're seeing a bout through my eyes. Should give you an idea of what I look for when I watch any bout. Or even when I study opposing fighters.
     
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  2. thugpoet Purple Belt

    thugpoet
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    thanks for the breakdown sin.

    I too had not seen this fight, froch looks worst then he is. by that people see his hands down, and awkwardness and think " this guy " this guy cant box" he is a soild well rounded boxer who is more of a "fighter" granted he isnt a guy you would say " watch this guy for his technique, he is a guy who would say watch because he wont give up.

    about the fight it self, technically groves was doing pretty well for the first 4-6 rounds, he started to shrink technically that is a testament to froch's mental toughness to be "there.". thats what I was most impressed by in the ward fight - ward showed that he was mentally tough as well.

    enjoyed the breakdown
     
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  3. Sinister Doctor of Doom

    Sinister
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    I don't know if Groves shrinking suggested anything about Froch's mental strength. I think Groves just let his doing well go to his head. Started believing in himself a little too much. "Oh man, this is easy, I can brawl with this guy, too." Kinda like Erik Morales did when he fought Pacquiao the first time and switched to Southpaw in the last two rounds. The last round he was getting hammered for refusing to switch back to orthodox, just luckily for him he had the iron chin to stay upright.

    But, that's not to say that Groves might not have gotten his composure back had the bout not been stopped. I'm sure Paddy would have given him a chastising in the corner.
     
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  4. thugpoet Purple Belt

    thugpoet
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    I can see that side aswell.

    in all honesty I think groves wins a rematch, and that he was gonna win the fight had it not been stopped.

    I think win you are a "boxer" type you have that one fight where that one fight you do something or a series of things that flat out cause you to lose. ray lenard has his against duran, ray Robinson, against lamotta, pbf, against castello ( though pbf didnt rep the consequences of the loss, he still has never showed that level of venerability since then ) hell even broner just had his against a seemingly a "less talented boxer" in Maidana. ( not to put broner on that level but it furthers my point about certain types)

    grooves has some potential, and some seemly easy technical problems to sure up.

    PS Froch has great recovery ablity. that two piece he received had him stiff. I watched it twice because you dont see a guy stiffen like that and get up and look balanced.
     
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  5. Sinister Doctor of Doom

    Sinister
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    It's funny you point out that moment. That was the BEST overhand right that Groves threw. All the others buzzed Froch, but not hurt him like that. Groves almost knocked out a World Champion with one punch. I think it happened BECAUSE he was stepping backwards at the time. He rotated his torso, shortened it up, kept his elbow down until the last second, and Carl never knew what hit him.
     
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  6. Emites Blue Belt

    Emites
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    I noticed that Groves is very hunched over. Would him simply having better posture be enough to improve his balance?

    To continue from that thread on chins, I honestly don't think Froch can physically be knocked unconscious. That large heavy skull of his. The punch that knocked him down would have knocked an normal person out.
     
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  7. Sinister Doctor of Doom

    Sinister
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    I don't know that his postural issue would fix his balance, but its a good notion. That's definitely one of the things about him that I don't like.

    Everyone CAN be knocked out. Just some people are almost impossible to be put in position to be knocked.
     
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  8. chrstrm Orange Belt

    chrstrm
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    do you have any suggested reading for in-fighting? i'm trying to improve my knowledge on that aspect.
     
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  9. Sinister Doctor of Doom

    Sinister
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    Reading? Not really. There's been some decent discussion of it around here, though.
     
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  10. Emites Blue Belt

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    Inside fighting is something Ward did very well against Froch. Andre pushed Carl back, and he honestly looked surprised that someone was doing that to him. Ward smothered a lot of Carl's offense. He also posted his left arm on Froch to set up offense:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    He also put the earmuffs on, but actually capitalized and punched Carl when he wildly flurried:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I don't want to sidetrack the thread, but I will say this: some guys are physically incapable of being knocked unconscious. Knocked down? Yes. But I've yet to see an iron chin like Froch knocked out cold.

    Just look at Antonio Margarito against Shane Mosley. Even after the horrible beating he received, he was still completely conscious at the end. He couldn't have been hit any more flush.
     
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  11. Azam Purple Belt

    Azam
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    I remember watching this fight live - it was a hell of a fight, entertaining from beginning to end.

    Nice breakdown Sinister - what did you think of the stoppage? Do you think it was justified - Groves was definitely eating shots and taking a lot of damage but he seemed fine senses wise.

    Also I heard Froch wasn't considering a rematch and was looking for one more shot at Ward before perhaps considering hanging up the gloves.
     
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  12. WillW Blue Belt

    WillW
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    Nice work Sin.

    Looking forward to the rematch, if it happens. Also like to see Frotch vs. Dirrell again or even GG.
     
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  13. PivotPunch Red Belt

    PivotPunch
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    If you can knock Duran out cold even if it's only for a few seconds everyone can be ko'd. But to ko Froch cold you need someone like Stevenson or Kovalev at least below CW or even HW
     
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  14. Sinister Doctor of Doom

    Sinister
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    I didn't mean to imply that Froch fights WELL on the inside, because he doesn't. But that's where his toughness and take 1 to give 2 attitude help him out a lot. Ward has significant advantages over Froch, and he's better-schooled at in-fighting. Groves isn't the same, hence when he put the earmuffs on and hoped for the best, all he got was hit.

    About the knockout thing, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Anyone can be knocked out, it takes just the right formula of events. As PP mentioned, Duran's KO loss to Hearns is a good example of that.

    I thought it was a bad stoppage considering Froch got more of a chance to recover from worse trouble. But Groves DOES look bad when hit, his body language suggests he doesn't want to be hit anymore.

    If Froch isn't considering a re-match, that makes sense. High risk, lower reward.
     
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  15. a guy Black Belt

    a guy
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    Really awesome thread, thanks Sinister. Lots of lessons to be learned from that fight. It's cool that both guys demonstrate stuff you talk about all the time.
     
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  16. WillW Blue Belt

    WillW
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    Dont know about that. Given how good the first fight was and the BS stoppage. I think the fight would be big $.
     
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  17. Sinister Doctor of Doom

    Sinister
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    Not as big as a Ward re-match. And he took less of an ass kicking against Ward.
     
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  18. WillW Blue Belt

    WillW
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    Damn that sounds exciting... Hell, love to see him fight direll again or GGG. Lot of good fights out there, too bad the boxers dont fight as frequently. They need to do more of those super 6 type deals they did a few years ago, love that stuff as a fan.
     
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  19. shs101 Blue Belt

    shs101
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    Great stuff.

    I am going to bump this thread on going the digger a and b concept.....

    I see what it is by getting the edge in position over your opponent but my question is what if you're against somone who is considerably shorter?

    Still try and apply this concept or stand tall as some coaches would say?
     
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  20. Sinister Doctor of Doom

    Sinister
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    Depends on their method of attack. The problem with "standing tall" is it relegates you to one very good form of attack/counter, and that's uppercuts. Otherwise, it's better served to be eye-level with them.
     
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