Photos: Lawrence Lustig
George Groves pulls no punches on tonight’s Behind The Ropes on Sky Sports – describing Carl Froch’s technique as ‘awful’ and rejecting the champion as a fighting man ahead of their clash for Froch’s WBA and IBF world super middleweight titles on Saturday at Wembley Stadium connected by EE, live on Sky Sports Box Office and HBO. Groves called their first meeting a ‘daylight robbery’ when Froch survived a first round knockdown and a furious onslaught in a sixth round that the Londoner called ‘the worst round in Carl Froch’s career’, only for the Nottingham star to retain his titles with a controversial ninth round stoppage.
The rivalry between the pair has escalated rapidly since the first fight was announced, and Groves raises the stakes again as in tonight’s show, ruthlessly dissecting The Cobra’s ‘awful style.’
“He is ignorant enough that if he is getting hit as long as he is landing something he will keep punching,” said Groves. “Technically it’s terrible. It’s an awful, awful style you would never encourage a fighter to box that way, you would never encourage a young kid who’s just joined the gym to box like that.
“He is not a fighting man, he doesn’t stalk people, he doesn’t pressure fight, he doesn’t back people up with aggression. He likes to stand at long range flick out a jab and hope that switches his opponent off enough so that he can dive in gun-slinging punching from the hip, crossing his feet, after two three punches digging his heels in deep enough so he can keep punching.
“Every time he gets caught he wants to go and trade he only ever trades like that when he has no other options so again coming back to that warrior mentality. I feel like it’s a false truth because if he could sit and dance and look pretty then he would but he doesn’t have to ability to do that so it’s always back against the wall stuff with him. If you go back and look at his fights its always desperation and for that that’s the reason why you’ll see him fight he way he fights.
“If he wants to concentrate on the physical aspect and that he feels he can be physically superior or superior enough that he has won the fight before he enters the ring; I wish him luck. He’s eleven years older than me, he’s coming off the back of a horrific beating and if he trying to do something different and runs the risk of over training.
“He’s on his fight weight eight weeks out. You ask any World class fighter out there – that’s never a good idea. He can sit there and try and take confidence from the way I make weight, I might drop a couple of pounds the night before – it makes no blind a difference to me.”
Groves’ grudge rematch with Froch is part of a huge night of action at Wembley, with James DeGale MBE facing Brandon Gonzales in a final eliminator for Froch’s IBF title.
Jamie McDonnell tackles Tabtimdaeng Na Rachawat for the vacant WBA Bantamweight title, Kevin Mitchell meets Ghislain Maduma in a final eliminator for the IBF Lightweight title and Olympic Gold medal hero Anthony Joshua MBE faces Matt Legg in his sixth pro contest.