Was Groves wearing platforms at the head to head with Murray?

By Boxing News - 05/24/2016 - Comments


By Scott Gilfoid: The 5’11 ½” George Groves (23-3, 18 KOs) looked decidedly taller than the 6’0” Martin Murray (33-3-1, 16 KOs) in their press conference today when the two of them stood facing off with one another to publicize their important fight next month on June 25 on the undercard of the Anthony Joshua vs. Dominic Breazeale card at the O2 Arena in London, UK.

Murray is supposed to be at least a half inch taller than Groves, but instead of being taller, Murray looked to be at least two inches shorter than Groves and considerably lighter with the smaller frame. Looks to me like Groves might have been wearing some kind of elevator shoes to give him a size edge over Murray. A bit of gamesmanship is what it looks like to me.

Since I’ve seen how much bigger Murray was than the 5’10 ½” Gennady Golovkin in their fight last year, I’m now wondering whether Groves was wearing lifts in his shoes to make himself look taller than the 33-year-old Murray. That’s fine if Groves did do that, but I don’t think it’s going to help him in the ring on June 25.

If Murray is able to load up on one of his shots, he could take Groves out. Groves doesn’t have the greatest chin in the world, as we saw in his fights against Carl Froch. In both fights, Groves was blasted out. Even in Groves fight against Badou Jack last September, Groves was on the canvas in bad shape after getting dropped in the 1st round. Badou isn’t known for being a big puncher.

“We are both at that stage in our careers where we are willing to put it on the line to get that final chance of glory,” said Murray to skysports.com.

Murray lost to former WBO super middleweight champion Arthur Abraham by a 12 round split decision last November. Murray bounced back from that loss to defeat 2nd tier fighter Cedric Spera by a 2nd round knockout earlier this month on May 7. I’m being generous in saying that Spera is 2nd tier because I honestly see him as a 3rd tier type of opponent.

The fact that Murray was pulled that far back in terms of opposition by his promoters is worrisome. I don’t agree with Murray being put in with fodder opposition in between facing world class guys. We saw that with Murray after his 11th round knockout loss to Golovkin last year in February.

Murray fought three straight weak opponents before facing Abraham. It must have been a shock to Murray’s system to go from fighting guys that folded almost immediately to facing Abraham. It’s like going from ice cold water to boiling hot water and Murray clearly wasn’t ready for the move.

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“In boxing a loss can set you back a long way so I don’t think either of us can afford to lose this fight,” said Groves to skysports.com. “Both of us can say we’ve been unlucky at times but I feel I’m coming to my peak now, to my very best.”

Groves is right about him and Murray not being able to afford another loss. I think it’ll be the end for the loser of this fight. I’m sure their promoters will still somehow be able to work them into further world title fights despite yet another loss, but I don’t see anything good coming of it other than a payday. Heck, even the winner of the Groves-Murray fight is going nowhere in my view.

Yeah, they’ll soon get another crack at a world title, but there’s no way Groves or Murray are going to beat the current world champions. They need a nice vacant belt and a guy with an inflated ranking for them to have to have a chance at a winning world title in my opinion. I don’t rate Groves and Murray as having the talent to beat the likes of James DeGale, Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez and Badou Jack.

I know that Groves beat DeGale five years ago by a narrow 12 round majority decision, but DeGale has improved since then and Groves has not. I don’t agree with Groves that he’s in his prime. I think he left his prime in the rearview mirror three years ago after his first loss to Froch. I think Groves was in his absolute best at that time of his career. Unfortunately for Groves, everything for him since then has been a downward trajectory.

Groves will be defending his WBA International super middleweight title against Murray. I’m sure Groves had hoped that he would have a real world title by this point in his career but that’s how it goes. He has clear stamina and chin problems that have held him back. If Groves hadn’t run out of gas in his first fight against Froch and in his fight against Badou, he probably would have beaten both.