Carl Froch successfully defended the IBF and WBA super middleweight belts with a controversial ninth round TKO victory over Commonwealth titleholder George Groves on Saturday at the Phones 4u Arena in Manchester.

The 5-foot-11 Groves (19-1, 15 KOs) floored the 6-foot-1 Froch (32-2, 23 KOs) with a right jab in the first.

Although the champion recovered, Froch was consistently outdone by Groves’ speed, movement and deft footwork.

Bruised and swollen, “The Cobra” finally connected with a barrage of punches that left Groves wobbled and referee Howard Foster quickly halted the bout.

"I feel that the ref got it wrong," said Groves, 25, whose awkward style gave the Nottingham native fits. "There's no way it should have been stopped. It's a bitter pill to swallow."

Froch, who has battled premier pugilists and possesses a granite chin and solid power in both hands, unsurprisingly agreed with Foster’s decision.

"What do you want to see? A kid unconscious on the floor and carried off on a stretcher? At 25, that could have been a career-ender for him,” said Froch, 36, also a past two-time WBC super middleweight king who unanimously outscored Mikkel Kessler to win the WBA crown in May.

Despite being a legitimate bruiser, “there's no way” Froch had done enough over roughly 25 minutes to stop Groves.

Considering the debatable conclusion, boxing fans deserve “to see” a rematch between Carl Froch and George Groves.

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