Exclusive: Fitzpatrick opens up on Groves split, McCracken talk

Matt Horan 08/10/2015

Lawrence Lustig

Fresh from the confirmation that super middleweight George Groves will be seeking a new trainer – as he once again tries to reignite his career – former trainer Paddy Fitzpatrick has spoken exclusively to WBN about his thoughts on the split with Groves and why things maybe didn’t work out.

The 27 year-old Groves – who lost a split decision to Badou Jack in his third attempt to win a world title – recently claimed that his fighting style didn’t match the training style of Fitzpatrick and may have been behind the loss in Las Vegas.

Fitzpatrick began coaching Groves around two years ago and has overseen all three of the Londoner’s world title failures – including consecutive defeats to rival Carl Froch. Now though, the Irish trainer holds no grudges following the latest claims made by Groves.

“I split with George on the Tuesday after the fight and we agreed that was the best thing for him. As far as what he has come out and said, that’s up to him – we simply didn’t get the results we were supposed to get,” Fitzpatrick told World Boxing News.

“Ahead of the Jack fight, we were absolutely at the best level we could be. Barry O’Connell, the conditioning coach, was getting the best out of him, as was the strength coach, Dan Lawrence. As for in the gym, the sparring and everything was exceptional.

“He lost a split decision fight in Vegas on a Mayweather card, maybe he gets the win anywhere else. It is what it is, he was completely prepared and didn’t get the decision – that’s boxing,” he added.

When asked about the news that Groves is looking to team up with former foe Carl Froch’s trainer Rob McCracken, Fitzpatrick responded by saying:

“It isn’t a bold move for George, he has to make the decision that is best for him. Two years ago, he thought I was the best for him and now that obviously isn’t the case, so he has
to make a new decision. I hope that this one Is the right one and I would love to see him go on and become a champion.

“In boxing, winning something and knowing you can win something are two totally different things and if he thinks the missing link was the trainer, that’s what he believes.

“There has to be a sync between fighter and coach and if he feels there wasn’t one between us, I hope he can find someone who he can get that with and I wish him all the best for the future,” he added.

Matt Horan is a staff writer for WBN. Follow on Twitter @mhoran123