OLYMPIC bronze medallist Joshua Buatsi has travelled the country getting in top class sparring, including George Groves, as the WBA super-middleweight world champion prepares for his showdown with Chris Eubank Jr in Manchester later this month.
“I sparred Groves two weeks ago, I had two sessions with him. That was good and I’ve been sparring a lot with Lawrence [Okolie] and my key sparring partner Duane Sinclair. So I’ve been getting the rounds in,” Buatsi said.
“We did eight rounds [with Groves], two sets of eight, good sparring with Groves very competitive. Groves and Lawrence [a cruiserweight] are the hardest hitters I’ve ever been in with. Groves and Lawrence… They hit hard. That’s why I’m saying if Lawrence lands that right hand, I mean the fight is over. That’s it.”
Buatsi gave his view of the Eubank fight. “I haven’t been in with Eubank, I haven’t sparred him before. I just feel that if he over commits then he could be in trouble from Groves. Groves is very calculated, calculating in what he does. He’s quite thoughtful about his work. But then Eubank brings youth, fitness, eagerness, which is good. It’s got the ingredients for a good fight again,” he said.
“He’s got a world title and that was good sparring. It wasn’t like round one I got hit to the body and I’m on one knee thinking actually this is too much. It was actually good, competitive sparring. That’s the key word competitive. It was really good. I enjoyed it.
“I sparred [James] DeGale before, years ago in the amateurs. He was a pro, that was ages ago. There’s not many top pros that I’ve sparred but I’m always getting good work.”