By Glenn McCrory. Last Updated: 02/06/14 12:00pm
A general view of Wembley Stadium, London
That was an amazing, amazing night at Wembley.
Even before I get into the fights themselves it was just a brilliant night. A brilliant night for boxing. A brilliant night for Britain. It was unbelievable.
The crowd was unbelievable and the atmosphere was awesome too. There were some big winners on Saturday night but the main one was British boxing.
To see our sport elevated to the lofty height it hit was wonderful. You couldn't ask for a better occasion to showcase what boxing can do when we all get it right. The fighters, the promoters and the television and media coverage all gave it their all and it really will be a night none of us will forget.
Yes, people went there to be part of the event and I can completely understand that but I am sure when the vast majority of them left Wembley, they had become boxing fans.
We got five knockouts in the main five fights and we kind of needed that just to make sure we were showcasing the sport as best we could.
And it was a pleasure to watch all the fighters do their bit on a brilliant night...
This was the old Carl Froch we know and love. He gave George Groves, a young, hungry, confident challenger very little at all. This time if there was an overhead right coming he would ride it, moving his head back and in all honesty, he did everything he didn't do last time. And he did it very well. He just looked strong, really on the ball and focused and it from that first round when it took shape straight away, there was an inevitability about the knockout when it came. I was predicting this would be Carl's demise and it happens to everyone one day, but it wasn't this way and for the career he has had, this was a fitting way to finish it. Carl missed the accolades he should've got in the Super Sixes because he beat the very best but he didn't but finally he will get all the recognition at last. It was the perfect way to close the show: it was the perfect punch of his career, the curtain came down on the biggest night possible.
It lived up to expectation, if not what a lot of us were expecting. I knew we would know how it would go inside the first round and I was hoping we would see the Groves from last time, coming out firing with all guns blazing. I thought he would push Froch back, put him on the back foot and start to throw combinations but he did none of that. In fact he almost did the opposite. He went into cautious mode and you just cannot do that against Carl Froch because once he's on the front foot he gets the momentum going and you just can't beat him. So when I saw that in the first round, I knew he would get beaten even if he did so some good things in there.
It was great to see him do so well and just great to see him back in the mix because he has had a tough couple of years, but boy did he look good. I was with David Haye and he said of all the fighters out there, you just wouldn't want to fight DeGale. He is awkward, southpaw, he crouches, he hits from all different angles, his defence is great and he showed that against Gonzales, who was supposed to be an American star in the making. You have to stamp your authority on those nights and DeGale did just that in the first exchange. He looked crisp, he was punching hard and precise and the finish was perfect. The stoppage was not premature because poor Gonzales was only ever going to take more punishment.
This was similar to the McDonnell fight because we soon found out that Ghislain Maduma was a quality operator we thought he would be, we knew we were in for real battle. After two rounds we thought Kevin was going to be in trouble - and he was. But bit-by-bit he just hung in there amd chipped away but it was no surprise to hear he was two rounds down on all three cards because I honestly thought he was going to get done. He kept his cool though, picked his shots and produced a finish that proves he is still a class, class act. A terrific turnaround.
A cracking little fight and a big reward - and rightly so - for the new WBA bantamweight world champion. Tabtimdaeng Na Rachawat was a tough little guy and from the start we all thought Jamie McDonnell was going to have his work cut out - and he did. It looked like he just had to tough it out but he slowly started to work things out, picked him off with nice counters and then got his timing right. And the knockout? That was an absolute peach of a punch. It was just what we and he needed it. He had been flat after being stripped of a world title but so it was so impressive and so well deserved.
Not only he did he do what we expected him to do, he did exactly what we needed him to do and open the show in style. He was probably more pumped up that anyone but the reception he got proves he is a superstar in the making. Matt Legg came in started well and looked like he might cause Joshua a few problems but he quickly found the gap and did the job we always thought he would do. Another short, explosive fight of course but the uppercut shows he already has an array of knockout punches.