Groves: Froch’s skills have deteriorated
By Scott Gilfoid: #2 WBA, #2 WBO, George Groves (19-0, 15 KO’s) thinks IBF/WBA super middleweight champion Carl Froch’s skills have slipped due to the combination of his advanced age and the ring wear from his many wars during his 11-year pro career. Groves feels that he’s going to knock the 36-year-old Froch out in their fight on November 23rd next month in Manchester, UK.
It’s hard to deny that Froch looks to have slipped a notch with his skills in watching his last fight against Mikkel Kessler last May. Froch had an opponent that looked totally disinterested in fighting for half the fight, and yet Froch STILL almost lost the fight. He ended up getting staggered in the 11th round by Kessler and he likely would have been knocked out had Kessler jumped on him the way he should have.
Groves said to RingTV “I feel that his [Froch] strengths have deteriorated…Carl has had a long, hard career and he’s a bit long in the tooth now and this time he’s in with someone who’s fresh, hungry and wants to win…I will be clinical, every punch will hurt and he won’t hear the final bell.”
I totally agree with Groves. Froch does look like he’s starting to show the ravages of age and I think he’s ready to be picked off by Groves. Heck, even if Froch was in the prime of his career, I’d still see Groves whipping him. Groves is faster, stronger, quicker on his feet, better defensively and the superior all around fighter.
Groves is capable of making adjustments to beat Froch. That’s the key right there. Groves can adapt to defeat whatever plan that Froch has in this fight, and to be honest there’s really not too many variations to Froch’s game that Groves has to worry about.
If you look at Froch’s recent wins over Lucian Bute, Yusuf Mack and Mikkel Kessler, you can see that Froch either comes out of the blocks quickly to try and slug his way to a quick knockout or he stands on the outside using a limp jab. So in essence Froch has a plan A and plan B, and that’s basically it. Froch can’t come up with a plan C, D, E and F because he lacks the hand and foot speed to carry out other options.
Groves may have some problems initially against Froch because there’s an adjustment shock in the 1st and 2nd rounds while Groves adjusts to being in the ring with him. Froch is better than the guys that Groves has fought in the past.
In Groves’ last 5 fights he’s beaten the following fighters: Francisco Sierra, Glen Johnson, Dario German Balmaceda, Baker Barakat, and Noe Gonzalez Alcoba. As you can see his promoters have been taking it easy on him thus far, and he’s not getting the opportunity to fight an intermediate quality opponent before this fight to get him ready. It won’t matter as long as Groves gets some good sparring before the fight, but normally you’d like to see a fighter like Groves in with some quality opponents before he fights for a world title, even if it’s against a fighter that is starting to show age like Froch is.