CARL FROCH and George Groves counted their bruises and considered a rematch after one of the most brutal and compelling all-British fights in recent years ended in controversy in Manchester on Saturday night.
The puffed-up faces of both men bore testament to the war they had just waged, with Froch climbing up from a shock first-round knockdown to stop Groves on his feet in round nine and retain his WBA and IBF super-middleweight titles.
Referee Howard Foster's intervention – with Groves ahead on all three of the judges' cards – brought howls of protest led to inevitable talk about the pair doing it all again in the new year.
Promoter Eddie Hearn said: "Fights are made through the demand of the broadcaster and the fans and I can't see demand for any fight other than a rematch."
Groves performed way above expectations, taking the fight to Froch just as he said he would during an acrimonious pre-fight build-up, and dumping him on the canvas in the opening moments from a right hand.