MANCHESTER - World champion Carl Froch recovered from a first-round knockdown to defeat British rival George Groves with a highly controversial ninth-round stoppage win in Manchester on Saturday. Froch retained his World Boxing Association and International Boxing Federation super-middleweight titles after referee Howard Foster decided Groves was unfit to continue. Groves, who sent Froch to the canvas in the first round, complained vehemently as he was heading for what seemed like a points win after a thrilling encounter. Unsurprisingly, both English boxers had very different views of Foster's decision to halt a contest scheduled for 12 rounds. "It was a fair enough stoppage," Froch told Sky Box Office. "I felt I had a couple more free shots on him and I was lining him up for the uppercut.”–AFP