Super-middleweight contender George Groves will attempt to claim his first world titles on November 23 in Manchester with the help of new trainer Paddy Fitzpatrick.
Fitzpatrick’s involvement comes on the back of an arduous pre-camp split with long-time coach Adam Booth as the former assistant to Booth steps into the limelight.
25 year-old Groves has battled his way to 19-0 with some eye-catching performances alongside the tactician he called his ‘Dark Lord’ and couldn’t have picked a worse time to make a change than immediately prior to facing WBN P4P number eight Carl Froch.
The Londoner takes his place on top billing at the Phones 4 U Arena next month as Froch v Groves tickets fly out of the Box Office and will hope that Booth’s absence won’t be a hindrance to him achieving his ultimate goal.
Seasoned world-class campaigner Froch, 36, has been dogged by Groves in the build-up to the clash, much the same as James DeGale did to the underdog in the run up to their famous 2011 bout, which ‘The Saint’ edged.
DeGale would probably be a more realistic outing for Groves at this present time, but you cannot knock his confidence to step up and take his shot. Whether he can follow Andre Ward and Mikkel Kessler in denting Froch’s record is another thing though and the opportunity may have come a little too early for the Hammersmith boxer.
To most, including me, this fight is way more one-sided in terms of where both fighters are in their careers and Groves may have inadvertently made the steep climb to a world title win even more treacherous after parting ways with his mentor.
Defeating the likes on Dario Balmaceda, Baker Barakat and Noe Gonzalez in a combined ten rounds is not the ideal preparation for a clash against one of the best fighters in the 168lb division, but Groves has been handed the opportunity he himself asked for and now has to make the best of the situation.
With his finest night now over two years behind him and not much of a test since then, the odds seem firmly stacked against Groves pulling off an upset and dethroning a hardened warrior like Froch, as the three-time world champion never takes a backwards step.
Current WBA and IBF title holder Froch is a 9/2 on favourite to retain his belts against the brash challenger, and after displaying career-best form against Lucian Bute and Mikkel Kessler of late, it’s hard to back against ‘The Cobra’ with less than a month to go before the two collide.
The fight has generated debatable pay-per-view interest from Sky Box Office, who now see Froch as a guaranteed PPV name. The experienced campaigner looks to fend of his first would be successor after a string of top-class opponents and could now possibly set-up a return with old foe Ward in the coming year.
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