HOW TO BEAT CARL FROCH
FORGET THE PRESSURE, GET INSIDE AND WORK HIM
JIMMY MONTOYA, the trainer of Froch’s great rival Mikkel Kessler, said, “The only thing that he’s really got that throws you off is sticking his jab out.
“The last time we could have beat him. But the problem is actually my fault, Mikkel peaked [in training]. Groves can beat [Froch] if he’s smart enough to get under and work against his jab. But I think Carl’s a little awkward for him, will make him miss a lot. He’s too experienced for him too I think.”
For someone to beat Froch, Montoya believes “he’s got to jab, put combinations together, get inside and work. If he stays outside, Carl will beat him”. Froch’s resilience is a significant asset.
“When we fought him the last time, we got the best punches in there, the hardest punches,” Montoya said. “That man can take a shot.
“Be aggressive and stay on his ass,that’s all. Put the combinations together.” Be wary of overtraining and peaking too soon in training camp. “You get sluggish, you get slow,” Jimmy said. “If Mikkel hadn’t been over the peak, he would have thrown a lot more punches… I blame myself for that one.”
Regarding Groves, Montoya added, “The only thing he’s got going for him, he’s got youth. If he can get in real good condition, he’s good enough. The problem is the other guy’s got a lot of experience. But he’s getting older.“Forget the pressure, get inside and work him.”
YOU’VE GOT TO BE ALL THE WAY IN, OR ALL THE WAY OUT
LEON LAWSON was the trainer of Andre Dirrell when the American put up one of Carl Froch’s trickier challenges. Froch got through that defence of the WBC supermiddleweight title in Nottingham with a split decision in his favour.
Lawson believes that the way for a fighter to beat Froch is to throw fast punches and then either stay out of range or get close inside.
“Carl Froch is a tough cookie,” said Leon, who had Groves in to spar Dirrell. “Groves is an alright fighter but Carl Froch is another level.
“Basically [to beat Froch] land punches, land fast punches, then get away to where Carl Froch can’t reach him or be all the way in where he’s not on the end of Carl Froch’s punches and land the better inside shots. Stay tight because Carl Froch’s punches are a little wide. You’ve got to stay inside his punches. I don’t think George Groves has the tools to do it. It’ll be a good fight, it’ll be exciting but I don’t think he has the tools to pull off beating Carl Froch. He either has to be all the way in or all the way out. Not on the end of Carl Froch’s rangy punches – and they’re awkward punches.”
Many interpret Froch’s low lead as a technical flaw but Lawson has a warning for them.
“That’s tricky though because he sets you up with that,” Leon said. “He’s been doing that for a long time and he’s used to guys thinking he’s keeping his left hand down and he gets you reaching and he catches you coming in. He’s a crafty dude. It looks easier to fight him on TV but when you actually get in front of him in the ring it’s different. I’ve seen that happen to a lot of guys.”
HOW TO BEAT GEORGE GROVES
DON’T LET HIM GET COMFORTABLE
JIM MCDONNELL is the trainer of Groves’ long-time rival James DeGale. He suggests Groves’ apparent confidence may not last when it comes to the crunch. “You do get things in your mind. When he walks to the ring on the night, he won’t want to get blown away early. The first few rounds he’ll move and try to grow into the fight and gain confidence as the fight goes on. I don’t think Carl will allow that to happen, if he was more inexperienced maybe,” McDonnell said.
“I don’t think he’s going to let George get comfortable. He’s going to put heavy pressure on him and slowly, slowly chip away to break him down.
“George is a quality fighter. He’s got a good mindset, he can stick to a gameplan. People forget when he was an amateur he was an aggressor. He can revert to the old George Groves and not get found wanting.
“If Carl Froch is the enforcer and pushes the fight, the judges are going to lean towards Carl Froch.” Though against someone boxing and moving, you can’t “dance to George Groves’ act” as McDonnell says. “James followed him. James would never do that now. James knows how to cut the ring down and Froch certainly does. That gameplan, of running and moving and trying to nick it, ain’t going to work against Carl Froch. He will cut the ring down.”
A boxer can’t let emotions alter his performance and on November 23 we will see if Groves has managed to rile Froch effectively. “Stick to what you’ve got to do,” McDonnell advises. He suggested that the pre-fight talk could also impact on George, saying. “As [Groves] walks to the ring and he feels the hatred and the animosity of the crowd, I think he’s going to get booed. Because they’re looking at him as the bad guy.
“It’s the perception, disrespecting a world champion, he ain’t really earned the right to say the things he’s been saying.”
MAKE HIM MOVE WHERE HE DOESN’T WANT TO MOVE
JOE GALLAGHER has seen Groves up close from Paul Smith’s corner, in the stoppage loss the current British supermiddleweight champion suffered in 2011. “George Groves likes to move and slip and move, go for walks and he likes to do a lot of feinting,” said Gallagher. “He’s got a bravado about him, he might want to trade off. I do feel when George does get involved in exchanges that’s when you can catch him.
“I do feel he leaves himself open in the exchanges. You have to play the patient game with him. You have to play him at his own game and sooner or later George will want to come in and throw and at that point, as he comes in, you’ve got to catch him as he comes in. I don’t think chasing George Groves is the best thing because you’re playing into his game. I think you need George Groves to come on to you.
“I think George is predominately a backfoot fighter. He likes people to come on to him, he likes to drop that overhand right.
“Keep him busy with the jab and mirrorimage him a little bit… You’ve got to outthink him. Make him move where he doesn’t want to move.
“You’re cutting the ring off and using your feet very well. Once he feels threatened and he unloads, George likes to get in and get out, you’ve got to be prepared that when George comes in, to keep it tight and catch him as he comes in and catch him again when he comes out and not give him a breather, step across him.”