Fast forward two and a half years from Groves v DeGale and we now have a role reversal as ‘The Saint’ touts for interest in his attempt to dethrone the UK’s best super-middleweight of the past five years, Carl Froch.
Granted that when initially announced, Froch v Groves didn’t have an instant feel of pay-per-view, although the challenger has played the villain perfectly in the months leading up to the clash, leaving fans excited at the prospect of seeing Britain’s premier 168lber’s square-off.
Hammersmith-based Groves came away from his Ringside special with Froch last week with even more belief after winning their round of baiting, but you have to wonder whether that will back-fire on him come fight time.
It’s now just over a week until the two do share a ring and all is quiet as the fighter’s finalize their training in preparation for fight week. Another round of verbal sparring almost certainly pencilled in for the beginning of next week though as the final few extra allocated tickets are snapped up by eager fans.
This fight has a distinct air of ‘master v pupil’ about it, although is in danger of turning into an Audley Harrison-esque sideshow whereas the fans just tune in to see Groves get knocked out by Froch on fight night.
Whether you like Groves’ new persona or not, tickets sold out when first announced in just eleven minutes and the pay-per-view figures are expected to be decent as Froch prepares for what looks on paper to be one of his easier tests in recent years.
Former British champion Groves has the talent and is definitely one for the future, but at 25 it will be interesting to see if he has the ability to derail the second-coming of Froch, who has consistently proven to be the best fighter from UK shores since old rival Joe Calzaghe retired in 2008.
That is the intrigue this encounter possesses, although in my eyes the bigger picture comes into play and Groves may struggle with the loss of long-time coach Adam Booth – which will certainly hamper his chances.
Froch, 36, is firmly in the box-seat and has all the experience in the world to put Groves in his place for his bravado pre-fight – with all the questions set to be answered when the first bell rings in Manchester on November 23.
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