Carl Froch recovered from a first-round knockdown to retain his WBA and IBF super-middleweight titles with a ninth-round technical knockout of George Groves in an engrossing fight on Saturday.
Referee Howard Foster infuriated Groves and a packed crowd of 21,000 at Manchester Arena when he stopped the fight after Froch finally landed some meaningful punches that left the challenger wobbling for the first time.
''I feel that the ref got it wrong,'' Groves said. ''There's no way it should have been stopped. It's a bitter pill to swallow.''
Groves, who picked up his first loss in 20 fights, protested that he was OK almost immediately after Foster declared the fight over, and skulked around the ring shaking his head and mouthing: ''That's rubbish.''
He did appear to drop his hands as Froch unleashed a barrage of blows and then stumbled into Foster, perhaps explaining the referee's decision.
''What do you want to see,'' Froch asked, ''a kid unconscious on the floor and carried off on...