Is it time for George Groves to accept Carl Froch defeat?

With Carl Froch and George Groves in negotiations to fight later this year, is it time for the challenger to move on from his controversial defeat in Manchester last November?

Nearly 11 weeks have passed since Carl Froch defended his IBF and WBA super-middleweight titles against George Groves after the bout was controversially stopped in the ninth round at the Phones4U Arena in Manchester.

The circumstances surrounding the conclusion of the action-packed encounter has been widely debated ever since, and after weeks of claiming that the fight was wrongly brought to an halt, Groves's appeal to the IBF for a rematch with the Nottingham man was successful, and talks are currently ongoing regarding a second date, which would likely be for a weekend in May or June.

However, it was revealed this week that Groves had lodged a claim with the British Boxing Board of Control that the result of the fight should be changed to a no contest, but is the Londoner right to continue to try to overturn the result of their November tussle, or should he be focused on attempting to achieve redemption later in the year?

Groves began his quest to earn a rematch within minutes of referee Howard Foster judging that he had taken too much punishment after a couple of heavy blows from Froch, and the crowd in Manchester joined in unison to show a man that they had booed into the arena that they supported his opinion that the match was prematurely stopped.

Despite the dust settling after an emotion-filled night, the stance from Groves and his supporters hasn't weakened, while Froch naturally believes that he was on course to deliver the decisive blow that would have strengthened his stock as one of Great Britain's greatest world champions after climbing off the canvas in the opening round.

Carl Froch celebrates victory over George Groves as the referee stops the fight in the ninth round during their IBF & WBA World Super Middleweight Title fight on November 23, 2013© Getty Images

The chances of a rematch occurring in 2014 looked remote when Groves turned down a lucrative offer from Froch's camp to fight again, but hours later, the IBF called for a rematch between the two Brits after they deemed that Groves wasn't hurt at the time of the stoppage and that he was retaliating as Froch attempted to end the fight.

With Groves only sitting in sixth position in the IBF rankings, he will receive less money than he would have if he had accepted Eddie Hearn's offer before a rematch was ordered, but despite that, it appeared only a matter of time before Groves agreed to the terms on the table for his chance to avenge his first loss in the professional ranks.

However, while Groves's next direct attempt to find a favourable conclusion to the November battle is understandable given his lack of manager or promoter, it's one that isn't really needed when he should be focused on plotting the next move in what can become a profitable career.

On that enthralling evening last November, supporters warmed to Groves not only for his performance, but for his humility and appreciation of the crowd's support at the Phones4U Arena. He oozed confidence, but he was lacking in arrogance, and the fans in attendance liked that.

But while it's understandable why his stance hasn't wavered over the past 75 days, it's reaching a point where he needs to let the past lie and continue with his attempt to win a world title. His career hasn't been overly harmed since the defeat. In fact, it could be argued that it has prospered.

Carl Froch celebrates victory over George Groves after their IBF & WBA World Super Middleweight Title fight on November 23, 2013© Getty Images

Until he sees the result altered from a Froch win to a no contest, which is something that is unlikely to happen, Groves will, rightly or wrongly, continue to call the decision an injustice. We have all been victim to an injustice at one point or another, but none of us gets a chance to right the wrong for a seven-figure fee.

Groves should sign on the dotted line and take the rematch. It might not be on his terms, but this is his one shot at the redemption that he has been craving. The longer that talks drag on, Froch will place more consideration on vacating the belt to move onto a bout with Julio Cesar Chavez Jnr.

That will give Groves an opportunity to claim that Froch is ducking the fight, and while that may or may not be the case, the Londoner is leaving that possibility open the longer that he haggles for an extra few thousand quid or having the zero on his professional record reinstated.

An '0' on a fighter's record is almost a figure of pride, and it's understandable why Groves feels as though it has been stolen away from him, but this whole saga is fast becoming a drama that no-one wants. All that everyone wants is a second helping of what was the greatest British boxing spectacle since the turn of the century.

The tit-for-tat battles behind the scenes were interesting at first but it has turned into a contest of who can have the final say. Both Groves and Froch have the opportunity to be a part of something incredible over the next few months, and while both are to blame for a deal not yet being agreed, Groves needs to be the bigger man and focus on showing the world that he can end the career of a man that he has come to dislike ever since they first agreed to meet last summer.

Carl Froch connects with George Groves during their IBF & WBA World Super Middleweight Title fight on November 23, 2013
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