George Groves knew he would split with trainer before Badou Jack loss

George Groves
Action Images/Tony O'Brien
George Groves speaks to George Gigney about parting ways with Paddy Fitzpatrick

GEORGE GROVES has revealed he intended to split with former trainer Paddy Fitzpatrick even before he was outpointed by WBC world super-middleweight champion Badou Jack in September.

After the loss, Groves’ third failed attempt at world honours, the Londoner parted ways with Fitzpatrick and has since hired Shane McGuigan as his taskmaster.

Speaking to Boxing News, Groves explained that he was aware their working relationship would not go beyond that fight.

“I knew that was going to be our last fight together, I just hoped we could do it with a win as a world champion and say, ‘hey, we’ve done it but I think we’ve come as far as we can, it’s time for a change,'” he said.

“The fact we lost put a bit more pressure on that situation, made it look more like a blame game.”

Groves hired Fitzpatrick after splitting with original trainer Adam Booth prior to his first fight with Carl Froch, during which he was dubiously stopped in the ninth round.

Groves looked to be ahead on points at the time of the stoppage but the Hammersmith fighter feels his performances since then have been poor in comparison.

“He helped me, came to me when I needed a trainer most, before the first Carl Froch fight,” he continued.

“I felt I was unlucky in that fight and since then the performances have got progressively – worse is a harsh word – but they weren’t as good, fight on fight.

“The Badou Jack fight was a good performance but it wasn’t good enough. So it was time to part ways but I wish him well.”

Another fighter who has also recently joined McGuigan’s burgeoning stable is former two-weight world champion David Haye, who returns to the ring on January 16 after more than three years out the ring.

Haye used to train under Booth alongside Groves and George enjoys seeing him from time to time.

“I’ve bumped into old David a couple of times. He looks nice and lean which means he’s training properly, that’s always a good sign,” he said.

“He’s been sparring well by all accounts. It’ll be good to see him back in action.

“I’ve always had the upmost respect for David, he looked after me at a point in my career when I needed it. I’ll always be thankful for that. We never saw much of each other after I left that [Adam Booth] stable, so it’s always nice to bump into him and have a chat. It’s good to have that familiarity in the gym.”

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