Groves: Badou Jack is No.1 on my list
By Scott Gilfoid: #3 WBC super middleweight contender George Groves (22-3, 17 KOs) defeated Andrea Di Luisa (18-4, 14 KOs) last Saturday night by a 5th round knockout at the Copper Box Arena in London, UK. Groves, 27, says he wants to go after a rematch with WBC 168lb champion Badou Jack (20-1-1, 12 KOs) to avenge his 12 round split decision loss to him from last September in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Groves lost that fight by the scores of 115-112, 116-111 for Badou, and 114-113 for Groves. I personally thought the 116-111 was the more accurate score of the three for that fight.
Groves fell apart in the last six rounds of the fight from the pressure that Badou put on him, and he basically gave the fight away. Had Groves been able to fight hard for the last half of the fight, I think he would have won. It just goes to show you that Groves’ stamina problems are still very much a problem for him.
“I think I could box next month,” Groves said to Behind the Ropes. “I think I could box next March. I think the latest I’ll box is the beginning of April. In the meantime, if a big opportunity comes up, we’ll go for that. The WBC is a fantastic belt. I came so close last time. Even if Badou Jack wasn’t a world champion, I would love to fight him. That’s a fight to avenge my loss. He’s probably number one on the list,” Groves said.
Groves obviously won’t be able to fight a rematch against Badou in March or April. That’s not realistic. If a fight between them does take place, it’s going to have to be in the summer or in late 2016. Badou still hasn’t fought since his win over Groves, and that’s kind of troubling. His adviser Al Haymon should have lined something up for him by now so that he can make money defendin his newly won WBC title instead of him just sitting around without fighting.
The last thing Badou needs is to sit around until a rematch against Groves takes place this year. Badou has been talking about wanting to fight Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., but I don’t see that as a practical fight for him due to Chavez Jr’s weight problems. Even if the fight was made, I could see a scenario where Chavez Jr. can’t make the 168lb limit at the weigh-in, and then the weight for the fight would need to be increased. As such, it wouldn’t even count as a title defense for Badou.
As for who Groves will be fighting in March or April, it’s unclear. He mentioned being interested in fighting Callum Smith and Rocky Fielding. Those would be dangerous fights for Groves because those guys can both punch and would be looking to test his vulnerable chin the way that Badou and Carl Froch did. Smith hits a little too hard for Groves, and I can’t see that fight being made.
Groves will likely get matched against Fielding, because he’s coming off of a recent 1st round knockout loss to Smith. As such, Fielding is right up Groves’ ally.
“I’ll fight Callum Smith for the No 1 spot, that’s a fight that interests me,” Groves said to skysports.com. “That’s one of many options but if they want to present it, I’ll have it. I like Callum Smith [as a fighter] but he wouldn’t be a problem at all.”
A fight against WBO super middleweight champion Arthur Abraham is a possibility for Groves in 2016, but it would have to take place later this year because Abraham has a title defense on April 9 against #1 WBO Gilberto Ramirez. Abraham will need to win that fight for a fight between him and Groves to play out in a major way.
Yeah, they could still fight with Abraham coming off of a loss to Ramirez, but I don’t think it would be nearly the big deal that it would be if Abraham goes into the fight with his WBO 168lb title still in his possession.
“It would be a blockbuster. It’s a huge fight, a stadium fight in Germany or in England. But, it is one of many options,” Groves’ promoter Kalle Sauerland said to skysports.com about a fight between Groves and Abraham.
I think Abraham is going to lose to Ramirez on 4/9, so there’s no real point in discussing the idea of Groves facing him.