Salisbury JournalFroch labels Groves 'paranoid' (From Salisbury Journal)

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Froch labels Groves 'paranoid'

Salisbury Journal: Carl Froch, left, and George Groves, right, go head to head once again in May Carl Froch, left, and George Groves, right, go head to head once again in May

Carl Froch has branded George Groves "paranoid" for demanding neutral officials for their super-middleweight world title rematch at Wembley in May.

Groves complained of bias to the British Boxing Board of Control after referee Howard Foster stopped November's first title bout in the ninth round, handing controversial victory to defending champion Froch.

Londoner Groves will refuse to fight Froch at Wembley on May 31 unless the BBBofC grant his demand for non-British officials.

Nonplussed Froch does not believe Groves' call will jeopardise the keenly anticipated fight, that could set a new post-war British attendance record, but the Nottingham man admitted he was less than satisfied with his rival's demands.

"I personally can't believe it, and I'm not happy about it," said 36-year-old Froch, who found himself in a tussle with Groves during the Wembley pitch-side photocall.

Froch refused to face off with Groves, eventually shoving his opponent away while the cameras snapped away.

"We're all in this sport together, and the BBBofC do a fantastic job," said Froch.

"To say that we don't want them officiating potentially the biggest fight in British boxing history, it almost makes a mockery of the BBBofC.

"It's a real shame, we've got two British fighters, we're going to leave it all in the ring, you've got to give George Groves a lot of credit for how he performed in his first fight, he did a good job.

"We would like to think that our referees, our officials, our judges could play a part in the whole event.

"To say that they're not invited to the party, when it's happening on our soil, I'm sure that they could turn around and refuse to sanction the fight.

"This will unfold, but it's George again playing clever clogs.

"Possibly he's paranoid about upsetting a lot of officials, from the last one, and he might feel it's going to have some backlash.

"I don't think something like that would mean that this fight doesn't happen, I really don't think that."

Groves hopes for compromise as he awaits a response from the BBBofC, but still claims the fight is conditional on the appointment of neutral officials.

"It's conditional that there are no UK officials: otherwise I don't ring walk," said Groves.

"I have respect for the British Boxing Board of Control, but they failed me in the first fight, this is a huge fight that has to take place.

"And if they insist upon placing one of their officials, who will be susceptible to the build-up, because how can you not, then I won't fight.

"Eddie (Hearn) and my solicitors are working on what happens next now.

"We'll find a compromise, I'm not here to alienate the British Boxing Board of Control, but we feel we have more than a valid point, and the fight is conditional upon it."

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