Belfast Telegraph

Eubank Jnr setting himself up for an almighty fall, says Groves

 

By Declan Warrington

George Groves has warned Chris Eubank Jnr a lack of professionalism is setting him up for failure and that he sees his rival repeating so many of his own mistakes.

The WBA super-middleweight champion (29) defends his title against Eubank Jnr in their World Boxing Super Series semi-final at the Manchester Arena on Saturday.

Their match-up represents Groves' highest-profile bout since those against Carl Froch, both of which ended in defeat, but it is lessons learned since then that inspired his world title and which he believes his challenger is lacking.

The 28-year-old Eubank Jnr makes little secret of the fact he does not work with a traditional trainer or training set-up and, similarly to Groves before he fought Froch, has regularly promoted himself on social media.

Since Saturday's fight was confirmed, the champion has maintained a significantly lower profile, and of Eubank Jnr he said: "He is that ignorant he thinks he can do it himself. 'The cornermen give me water; I do the rest, I train myself, I know what I'm doing'.

"It doesn't work: the greatest fighters in the world have a great team or trainer around them. The dad is supposed to be that, but it's the blind leading the blind. He doesn't know what he's doing, especially the dad. He's lost his grip on reality.

"I thought he might take himself to Vegas and do a camp: work with a decent trainer, you'd be getting good sparring. But he hasn't: he's decided to come home, train himself, spar anyone he can get a hold of.

"He's got success through putting out videos, and attaching himself to big names and not having a real fight. The difference here is he's in a real fight.

"It's difficult finding a new trainer. With Paddy Fitzpatrick, I knew it wasn't right, but I got so much stick for moving on from Adam Booth that I stayed in that situation too long.

"Me and Shane (McGuigan, present trainer) have gone from strength to strength. That's what you always need: you expect that on fight night, giving you the right instructions, warming you up correctly, and in the gym. A good trainer is worth his weight in gold.

"I remember thinking Eubank Jnr's got the right ingredients. He's got the right attitude, he's tough and ambitious. Now he's gone so far the other way, the bad habits are permanently ingrained in him from doing so much casual work."

Almost four years have passed since Groves lost the rematch with Froch and suffered what he called the "fall from grace" from which he had to rebuild his reputation, and again sensing similarities with Eubank Jnr's situation, he said: "Jnr might be looking beyond this fight, like I did.

"I looked beyond the Froch rematch: not because I thought it was a foregone conclusion, but I was confident that I was going to do the job, I'd done a bit too much PR in the build-up, and come fight night I'd got it wrong.

"This is about who's better, and he's not."

Belfast Telegraph

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