Hearn wants DeGale-Groves in May 2016, even if Groves loses to Badou Jack
By Scott Gilfoid: To show you how badly James DeGale’s promoter Eddie Hearn wants to make the DeGale vs. George Groves (21-2, 16 KOs) next year in May at Wembley Stadium, Hearn says he’d be still willing to make the DeGale-Groves fight even if Groves loses his next fight against WBC super middleweight champion Badou Jack (19-1-1, 12 KOs) this summer.
Hearn says he’d still make the DeGale-Jack fight, but he obviously knows the money that the fight would make would be much less than it would be if Groves beat Badou Jack to capture his WBC 168lb title.
Without Jack’s WBC strap, Groves would go into the DeGale rematch next year as just a contender with three losses in his last five fights. That sounds like a journeyman level fighter, doesn’t it?
Groves was whipped twice by Carl Froch, and then given a chance to fight in a WBC eliminator bout against Christopher Rebrasse past year in September. I can’t remember the last time I’d ever seen a fighter getting put in an eliminator bout off of back to back knockout losses like Groves had.
“We really hope that George wins that title,” Hearn said via the Dailymail.co.uk. “If he doesn’t, it’s still a fight that can be made, but obviously the money changes and the buys on PPV change as well. We hope, because we’re British and for our benefit as well that George does win that world title and a May fight next year at Wembley Stadium will be unbelievable,” Hearn said.
Well, it’s good that Hearn has his feet firmly on the ground about the DeGale-Groves bringing in a lot less cash if Groves gets thrashed by Badou Jack. I honestly don’t know how Hearn could go through a fight between DeGale and Groves with George coming off of a loss to Jack. It would a heck of a lot smarter to wait until Groves built himself back up with five or six wins over quality fighters before trying to make that fight.
By going for the cash straightaway instead of building up for the fight, Hearn would be looking for a cash out on that fight rather than doing it the smart way. Of course, if you don’t have faith in one or both of them winning their next five of six fights, then yeah, I can see how Hearn want to go for the loot immediately by putting DeGale in with Groves under those circumstances. I mean, if I didn’t have faith in Groves and/or DeGale, I’d be looking to make that fight as fast as humanely possible before they get beaten again by someone.
I hate to say it, but I don’t like Groves’ chance against Badou Jack. I think Groves is too big for the super middleweight division now, and all that weight that he has to take off to get to the 168lb limit, I think it does a number on both his punch resistance and his stamina. Froch sees it the same way I do.
“George seems to fade away in the later rounds and he seems a little big at the weight. He takes a lot of weight off the week before the fight, which is never good and will affect you down the stretch,” Froch said via Skysports.com.
I have to agree with Froch. Groves is walking around looking as big as light heavyweights Sergey Kovalev and Artur Beterbiev. Instead of melting down to 168, Groves should fight guys his own size at 175 and make whatever career he can in that weight class rather than draining himself to fight smaller guys at 168.
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