|Groves with his commonwealth belt
On Saturday night commonwealth super-middleweight champion George Groves faces his date with destiny when he takes on unbeaten British champion James DeGale, his former amateur foe, gym mate and current bitter rival.
BritishBoxers caught up with Groves 23, to talk with him about his rivalry with DeGale and to ask him our In the Ring with Q&A.
George Groves Interview
You and DeGale have traded some real insults and banter in the build-up to this fight, is there a real deep rivalry between you both for real or is some of it fight hype?
I genuinely cant stand him, you know boxing people are usually the nicest people in the world, I couldn’t tell you anyone in boxing who I don’t like except him ‘Destined to Fail DeGale’ Since we became rivals in the amateurs, hostilities have built up, even though I hadn’t really seen him for God knows how long, it has just been there to manifest, but that’s fine by me, because when we fight, you know, its going to be a real fight, I’m here I mean business. I’m not a little kid now at fifteen and him seventeen, sparring as amateurs.
Is it good to be fighting in London again?
It’s really exciting, it’s going to be a great show, and I’m really looking forward to getting back in action in London where everyone can come and see me box. They don’t have to travel like for my last two fights.
Signing with Hayemaker, do you feel they can help you accomplish your ambitions?
Yeah they are becoming a main player a power in boxing and having a good relationship with Golden Boy, major promoters in the States, they are really keen on me, they see my talent and they believe I can go all the way.
When and how did you get into boxing?
I was just energetic as a kid and into all sports, my dad said why don’t you try boxing, because he is a boxing fan. So he took me down Dale Youth boxing gym when I was 7. They told me that I was too young, so I started kick boxing up to the age of 13, but when I was 10 went back to the boxing gym and boxed at 11.
Who was your first trainer?
Mickey Delaney and Peter Carson at Dale Youth
How would you describe your fight style?
Forward pressure box fighter
Who influenced you as a young boxer?
My dad was a big fan of Nigel Benn and that rubbed off on me, I admired his his courage, heart and skill, he was an inspiration to me.
Toughest/Best opponent you have faced?
Probably an exhibition bout against Luis Garcia, hes a pro now. It was in Cuba, I don’t know how he got down to the weight, 76 kilos or whatever it was, but hes a big lad and I went in there half asleep thinking it would just be like an hard spar, took a few shots and thought, id better wake up.
Toughest Part of being a boxer?
Making weight, giving up sugar basically! Sugar a killer for me
Who do you wish you had fought or want to fight?
James DeGale, lets keep it fresh!
Who is the greatest British Boxer of all time?
Best fight you have seen?
McClellan vs Benn, my Dad told me it would be a good one
Dream Fight? Who v Who?
Sugar Ray Leonard vs Sugar Ray Robinson – I never seen alot of there fights until I started training with Adam (Booth) but he has shown me the fights, he is a big Ray Leonard fan.
Sylvester Stallone, I loved all the Rocky films.
Favorite all time boxer, World and British?
World: McClellan – British: Benn. Ive watched a lot of McClellan’s fights lately and it was a shame how he finished up, because he was everything I love in a fighter, he wasn’t afraid to throw his hands and had amazing power.
Favourite British fighter at the moment?
David Haye (right) – I mean hes my boss and I see him all the time, but his crossover appeal, the way he deals with the fans, hes a celebrity now but as always got time for people. You see him on telly and he is always in good humour and he is bringing a new audience into boxing, which is important to keep the sport fresh and interesting for the new audiences.
What do you do when you are not Boxing?
I love comedy actually, stand up comedy, so I try get to as many as I can – if not I’m sat there watching Paramount TV, Ha!
What would you do if you wasn’t a boxer?
|Favorite place for an holiday
Stand up comedian! ha! no Id like to think I was that funny! I don’t know the buzz that you get from boxing is hard to match, I think Id have to be a rock star or something like that. I went to see Green Day last year and they rocked up on stage, with boxing I might get to fight twice a year or something, where them guys are doing it week in week out!
Which British Boxers should we look out for?
Id have to say Ronnie Heffron, all the things I’m hearing from people is that this lad can fight. I like his style as well though he was never going to last too long in the amateurs. Hes not toey you know bouncing around, tall. Hes a come forward fighter, I think he said he is a Ricky Hatton fan and you can see that in his style. He is strong and if he can take that with him through the levels, I think he can go all the way.
To have a certain amount of respect from the boxing people and maybe being able to buy my Mum and Dad a nice house one day, things like that.
What would you change in Boxing?
More TV – If more TV came in for boxing we would have more well known fighters. If the terrestrial TV stations came in again that would be great. I think then fighters would be inclined to take more risks, their so scared of losing their ‘0’ You know you could get the fights on for the fights sake, if you get beat you haven’t gotta worry about getting pushed to the back of the line, with the backing there would be chances get back in the picture – British fighters would progress and challenge more on the world scene.
What music do you listen too?
I like a bit of Punk Rock sort of thing – Green Day (right) is my favorite band, I like Fall out Boy’ too, stuff like that
Last book you read?
Frankie Boyle’s autobiography, a recommended read!
I love Snatch and Lockstock, I can watch them any day of the week
Who would play you in a movie of your life?
A young Ray Liotta
Out of training Spag. Boll. or Spaghetti Meatballs
Best Holiday destination?
Las Vegas, Ive been enough times now I love it out there
What other sports do you watch?
Athletics, Football, trying to get into Rugby – I like Tennis, anything that’s on really Il watch it
Best friends in Boxing?
All the Hayemaker guys, out of the pros Ashley Sexton is a good mate of mine and he as been training down our gym lately.
|Brook on the desert island
Which 3 people would you be stranded on a Desert Island with?
My Mrs. Bear Grylls and probably Kelly Brook (right) as well.. cause I saw her in a film trapped on a desert Island so she might have a bit of experience as well, so yeah her, just for the experience!
Tell us something we don’t know about you?
Up to the age of three I had long curly blond hair down to my shoulders, then my Dad took me to get it cut at the barbers and it came back with a red tint, which everyone let me know about until the age of sixteen, and recently someone else as been calling me Ginger as well so! (referring to DeGales references to him as ‘that ugly ginger kid’)
Quick Fire Questions:
Red or Blue?
Marvin Hagler or Sugar Ray Leonard?
Benn or Eubank?
Haye or Lennox?
Pacquiao or Mayweather?
Jab or Hook?
Head or Body?
European or British Title?
One thing you cant live without?
Everything happens for a reason!
What does the future hold for you?
If I don’t become a world champion Pay Per view fighter then I’ve let myself down
By Chris Maylett
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