George Groves: I won’t be involved in boxing forever... I need to make the most of it
PUBLISHED: 07:00 20 May 2016 | UPDATED: 13:01 20 May 2016
PA Wire/Press Association Images
Former Dale Youth ABC star George Groves says he is determined to make the most of the time he has left in boxing, and eventually secure that elusive first world title.
The 28-year-old has endured more than his fair share of ups and downs in his professional career, with three failed world title attempts to his name.
After two defeats to arch-nemesis Carl Froch, Groves lost a split decision to Badou Jack in Las Vegas back in September, which left the super-middleweight considering his future.
However, after back-to-back victories against Andrea Di Luisa and David Brophy, Groves has now built up some momentum again and is relishing his next bout with Martin Murray at the O2 Arena on June 25 – an eliminator for the WBA world title.
He told the Times: “The professional game isn’t easy, it’s far from it. [Coach] Mick Delaney told me that many a time when I was a kid at Dale Youth.
“Certainly I have had a few adversities and low points in my career, but I’m not ready to call it a day just yet. I’m just hoping to keep up with Mick!
“We’re working towards getting to the very top, and I’m so determined to secure that first world title. Working with Shane McGuigan [trainer] has been brilliant – he’s been a real breath of fresh air to be honest with you.”
He continued: “I want to make this time I have left in the sport worthwhile and a success – I won’t be around forever.
“I was sparring with David Haye in the gym for the first time in a long time last week, and that just whetted my appetite even more to be back in and amongst the elite fighters.
“I’m feeling confident again, really sharp and most importantly I am enjoying my boxing. I’ve got some big fights and tough challenges ahead of me for sure, but first I’ve got to get past Martin Murray in what will be a good fight.
“There’s a lot for me to get my teeth stuck into for sure, and the more the better I say.”
Groves says he is not underestimating Murray, who has also endured world title heartache – falling at the final hurdle on four occasions previously.
He added: “It’s a difficult fight for me. Either of us could have stepped aside and gone down an easier route.
“I probably won’t get the recognition I deserve to if I beat him, because he hasn’t won a world title as well, but he’s a good fighter.
“He’s had a few dubious decisions against him and been unlucky.
“It’s a fight that’s been on my radar for a while and one I needed if I want to get bigger fights along the line. It’s an all-British affair that will get people talking and we’ll get a few pound notes in the process, which is always nice.
“It might not be top of the bill at the O2, but this is a fight that could easily be a sell-out in its own right. I’m really looking forward to it.
“It’s a WBA world title eliminator. The current champion is Felix Sturm, who has obviously tested positive for a banned substance.
“If he’s found to have been cheating with the B sample, then the belt will revert back to Fedor Chudinov, who he beat earlier this year.
“You have to assume then that the winner of me and Murray will have a shot against either Sturm or Chudinov, and I’d expect that to be at the tail end of this year.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that if I win this fight it will open a lot more doors for me, and other world champions will be looking at it and thinking I’m an attractive proposition again.”