George Groves opened the doors of his recently constructed gym to the media on Tuesday in typically humorous style.
Groves, who faces Christopher Rebrasse at the recently renamed SSE Arena (Formerly Wembley Arena) was winding down his training camp in preparation for this coming Saturday’s European super middleweight title shootout, which couples up as a final eliminator for Anthony Dirrell’s WBC strap.
On arrival, all were greeted by the ever present Ginger Bread Man, who transends the Hammersmith man’s quirky sense of humor with aplomb, and the easy going, light hearted vibe of ”The Saint” and particularly his trainer, Paddy Fitzpatrick, was evident for those in attendance.
Although no one was under any false impression that Groves means anything other than business.
WBN caught up with the former British, Commonwealth and two time world title challenger and asked him what the general feeling was in camp so close to his eagerly awaited comeback, as well as his current standing on the Froch defeat.
”I’m excited about boxing. I’m excited about getting back to winning ways. The Froch fight I could definitely put to bed but, I’ll never be happy and content with the result because I never want to lose; it’s not good enough, and getting knocked out is something I’ll never be willing to accept and I’ll never get over, but that’s just a personal thing.”
”One hundred percent, the confidence is still there.” He said.
”Training camp’s gone excellent. I’m just looking forward to getting back into the ring, back entertaining and back to winning ways.”
His French counterpart, who holds a record of 22 wins, 3 draws and two defeats, has halted just six of his opponents. ”L’iceberg” has yet to be stopped but hasn’t mixed in as high company as his British foe, who outlines the need for caution.
”He’s a big guy. He throws a lot of punches, high work rate, good defence, never been stopped – these are all worthy attributes for any fighter, and they need to be addressed.” Groves said.
”Obviously I want to get in there and stamp my authority from the start, hit him with something meaningful, same as every other opponent, and let him know that I might have come off two losses, but I’m here, I mean business and I’m better than him. Basically that’s the bottom line. I know as much as everyone else; I’ve seen footage of him on Youtube, looked him up on boxrec, but I’ve never seen him live. I don’t know anyone personally who has boxed him so, there’s that element of caution there but at the same time shock and awe is on the cards.”
Should Saturday night’s encounter prove as expected a successful one, Groves can look forward to a shot at Dirrell’s WBC crown.
The American recently let it be known that he doesn’t believe Groves deserves a shot after losing twice to ”The Cobra” – a man he would much prefer to be facing.
”He’s entitled to his opinion, he’s a champion and he can let his mouth go as much as he wants but the fact of the matter is that I’m in a championship fight that will determine the winner becoming mandatory for his belt.” Affirmed Groves.
”Whether he feels I’m undeserving or not, he’ll have to take it up with the stewards of the WBC so I’ll wish him the best of luck with that fight.”
”He’s a good fighter. I’ve sparred him before in the past and he’s a nice guy. But obviously I’ve got to concentrate on the task at hand which is Saturday.”
Groves came out of those two epic contests against Carl Froch with his head held high, as a slight lapse in concentration proved his undoing when very much in the 2nd fight at Wembley in May. But there is always room for improvement, and his team continue in their quest for perfection.
”I always want to make improvements. I think I have made improvements as a fighter. I’m looking forward to getting in and showing those improvements. Every camp we look to change and adjust to become as perfect a fighter as possible – we’ll find out on fight night. The plan of action is ‘Shock and Awe’.”
Lee Elford is covering Christopher Rebrasse v George Groves fight week for WBN. Follow Lee on Twitter @Tempas_Flair