Hearn: Wembley makes real statement
10:21am Tuesday 4th March 2014 in © Press Association 2014
Promoter Eddie Hearn has labelled Wembley Stadium as the "ultimate" venue for Carl Froch's re-match against George Groves after it was announced the May 31 bout will take place at the national stadium.
The two Britons will meet for Froch's IBF and WBA super-middleweight titles in the first bout to be contested under the arch of the new Wembley.
Froch stopped Groves in the ninth round of their last contest, but controversy followed with many experts suggesting referee Howard Foster stepped in when Groves was able to continue.
Nottingham-born Froch kept hold of his belts despite being knocked to the mat by Groves in the opening round but, earlier this year, the IBF ordered a re-match.
Since then, Matchroom promoter Hearn revealed he has been in negotiations with several venues for what he has dubbed the biggest fight in British boxing history.
"When I walked out here the first time I remember ringing Carl Froch and George Groves and saying 'this is the place'," he told Sky Sports News.
"We wanted to make a real statement, and ultimately we needed the seats for a fight of this magnitude. To walk out here today with the posters up and around, knowing it will be full of boxing fans on May 31, is a wonderful feeling.
"I think we have got the product, not just in the fight but in the sport itself, to fill stadiums like this. When you get an opportunity to do so, you have to grab it with both hands.
"We were talking with the City Ground, the Millennium Stadium, Old Trafford and the Emirates - all fantastic stadiums but this (Wembley) is the one.
"This is the ultimate, in my opinion - steeped in history - and this is the first fight at the new stadium... and what a fight.
"People talk about 'is it the biggest fight in British boxing history?' I believe so."
Hearn expects the main event fight to start around 10pm and said he has already started talking to Transport for London to see how many fans would feasibly be able to attend.
"It will be interesting to see how quickly they (the tickets) go," he said.
"At the first fight (in Manchester) 21,000 tickets sold in 12 minutes, so we think this is going to fly and to have this place full up would be something very special."
The event will take place less than 24 hours after Wembley hosts England's World Cup warm-up match against Peru, with Hearn admitting the logistics were one of the major sticking points during the negotiations.
But now the deal has been struck, Froch is looking forward to being part of history as he takes part in the first fight at Wembley in 19 years.
"For me to be involved in an event like this is a very proud moment," he said.
"With it being in the capital city as well, it just makes the whole history of the event phenomenal. It's fantastic because Wembley Stadium's massive.
"What's it going to hold? Potentially 70,000, 80? If we did sell that, that would be phenomenal.
"Talk about making history, to go to a stadium like Wembley for such a big boxing match. Everybody's interested and it needs to be held at a big stadium really.
"I'm really looking forward to putting on this fight and putting him (Groves) behind me in this fabulous stadium. It doesn't get any bigger than this for British boxing.
"I'm just so excited that I'm going to give George Groves an absolute pasting in front of such a big crowd."
The 25-year-old Groves remains confident his initial showing in Manchester can lead to him taking the belts at Wembley, and also suggested on Tuesday that Froch's hometown of Nottingham was not big enough for such a fight.
"I have boxed at Wembley Arena and had a fantastic night there," he said.
"This is a little bigger but boxing in London, the capital of the country and a national site, people are happy to travel here and it had to be a big city to host a big event, which is what ruled out poor Nottingham.
"I think I have got a lot of advantages and the venue or city is the least of his (Froch's) concerns.
"The advantage he wants to worry about are the ones I displayed last time we boxed - he has more things to worry about rather than where it takes place."
Tickets for the fight go on sale on March 10.