Groves needs to find his groove
By Matt Plumridge: George Groves (21-2) faces a genuine make or break contest on Saturday’s Mayweather- Berto undercard, fighting his third world title shot against the Money man’s own fighter in WBC belt wearer Badou Jack (19-1-1).
Groves, who was twice KO’d by Carl Froch in his previous attempts to capture the world crown, can specifically not afford to be knocked out by Jack as 3 KO’s in just over 20 fights will rank his chin as more suspect than I suspect, and you can see all future opponents looking to land the knock out with inevitably successful consequences.
In contrast should Groves win, significant riches lie ahead. Having already profited to the tune of £2m ($3m) for his second Froch defeat, a World Champion Groves will be able to command big money for an all British showdown with fellow World Champion and Arch Nemesis James Degale. The two have scrapped before as pro’s (Groves by MD, Degales only pro loss) so the appetite for a rematch exists and as World Champions, would do big numbers in the UK. Win that and even a third Froch fight could be on the cards.
Which is why Saint George needs to find his groove early against Jack. History shows this may be his best chance – Jack himself got caught cold by Derek Edwards in a shock first round KO and only loss, while Iron Man Froch looked on his way to an incredible KO defeat when Groves caught him early in their first scuffle.
The longer it lasts, the more it points to Jack. By this point Jack’s chin will have been tested and on the basis Groves cannot hack him down and is taking some back, then in front of effectively home town fans and on the card of your own promoter’s show, Groves won’t be able to do enough to take the belt off the more than capable Jack.
Not easy to call, this fight actually has all the makings of a cracker. Sometimes the pressure can tighten everyone up, yet desperation can create mayhem. I’m leaning towards the latter in the fight of the night – just be ready for action from the off.
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