Groves’ Style Like a Toddler With a Loaded Diaper
The title seems to be a foul, a low blow, hitting a man when he’s down. But, it’s not intended to be. No one is questioning Groves’ heart or effort. Honestly, though, all you parents and grandparents out there must certainly understand the reference. You’ve seen your bow legged little scamp ambling around with a full load. The little cuties exhibit awkward movements, which makes them look a little discombobulated.
It is just an observation about a fighter’s peculiar style, one that would seemly tire a fighter. It requires a fighter to be in an awkward position. It’s an unnatural posture, accentuated by the oversized trunks. Couple that with legs wide spread, too wide for graceful movement. Then throw in a humped back, with shoulders hunched forward and you’ve got Groves. If he was any thinner, you could put a woman’s wig on him, and you’d swear he was a dowager.
The point is, it’s only with great difficulty that a person employing such a rigid awkward style can move around without a lot of discomfort. HBO’s Max Kellerman made a descriptive comment when he said something like, Groves is taking two steps to every one of Froch’s. That takes a lot of energy. Max also said, a technical boxer can also be the aggressor. Again, that comment was directed at Groves, and referred to his early success in the bout. The fact was until the fourth round, Groves was doing okay.
Up to that point, Groves was countering well, and ducking under or moving away from Froch’s counters. However, toward the end of round four, Froch turned things around when he landed a long, straight lead right, which hit Grove’s right on the button. If Froch would have been slightly closer, the fight might have ended right then. In the fifth round, Froch stepped things up, and unloaded with more body shots. Groves was countering less and less by this time, and his shots weren’t as accurate. Instead of throwing straight shots, inside of Froch’s looping shots, he started winging, wide arm punches. By that time, Groves was not only missing more, but becoming more stationary as well.
Earlier, he depended on three things. First, he used his legs to carry him in and out and side to side. Secondly, he successfully ducked under Froch’s counter shots. Thirdly, he countered well, using good combinations. When Froch increased the pressure, Groves started to lose all three of those assets. First, when pushed back against the ropes, he started to lose his mobility, Secondly, Froch’s ring generalship gave him the distance he wanted, which prevented Groves from ducking under his shots. Third, Froch no longer worried about Groves counters, which lacked the needed power to keep Froch off.
Unfortunately for Groves, he also lacked one asset. He didn’t move his head. As mentioned, earlier he was bending at the waist, getting under some of “The Cobra’s” shots. But, he did not slip punches. There was no side to side movement of his head. If Groves would have done that, not only would it have helped him avoid punishment, but it would have enabled him to counter more effectively.
By the time the knockout punch came in the eighth round, Groves had lost a lot of steam. His punches were no longer straight, and his fleeing motion curtailed. What’s more it was becoming more difficult to sit down on anything. He tried to make up for it by winging his shots, trying to get some torque on them. All it did was change the trajectory from straight to curved. When Froch set Groves up for the big one, Groves was also doing his own calculating. He envisioned his own check hook counter. However, to make that punch work, the fighter trying to execute it must not only block his opponent’s left, he must simultaneously fire off his own short left hook. If done correctly, it will land before the opponent can land his right. The key word there is “short”.
Groves failed, in two ways to execute the maneuver. First, he failed to time it right. He was a fraction of a second too slow. Secondly, his attempted left hook was launched from too far out. It should have been started in close, short and sweet. It would have caught Froch coming on hard right into it. Who knows, if that had been done, Groves might have been the one scoring a kayo? The long and the short of it is, Froch’s big right hand beat Groves left, landing solidly on Grove’s left jaw. It was lights out for the brave Groves. The referee took one look at the prone body, lying awkwardly with the left leg twisted under itself, and he signaled an end to the fight.