In an exclusive interview with Betting Sites, former WBA super-middleweight champion George Groves gives his thoughts on the crossover boxing scene including a dig at MMA fighters boxing skills.
Groves also gives his exclusive opinion on Chelsea.
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- MMA fighters biting off more than they can chew by fighting real boxers
- UFC fighters don’t know how to throw a body shot properly like a boxer does
- Pochettino is an exceptional next manager for Chelsea
- Todd Boehlys ownership must add pressure to the manager
Question: What do you make of these MMA fighters calling out boxers and vice versa? Jake Paul vs Nate Diaz is set to happen and then there’s Darren Till calling out Carl Froch as well.
George Groves: “I mean Froch calls out everything and everyone, he’s up for anything. I don’t think I would advise anyone who wasn’t a fighter to get into a boxing ring with Carl Froch, even at his ripe old age of 45. It’s not going to end well for them. The Nate Diaz fight, I’m not sure because I don’t think I’ve ever seen him fight to be honest. Jake Paul lost to Tommy Fury and I didn’t catch that fight either but Fury’s been in and around boxing his whole life. But in general I think these MMA fighters are biting off more than they can chew if they want to step into the boxing ring with real boxers. Froch keeps himself in good nick and he’s still got plenty of fight left in him. In the boxing ring I wouldn’t suggest any YouTubers or people from any other sport getting in the ring. But there’s definitely a chance you might tease Froch out of retirement. You could have one in the ring, then one in the cage, then if it’s 1-1 then maybe play chess for the decider! [laughs]”
Q: UFC fan pages were downplaying Tank Davis’ bodyshot knockout of Ryan Garcia and claiming 99% of UFC fighters would eat that punch for breakfast. That’s waffle surely?
GG: “UFC fighters don’t know how to throw a body shot properly like a boxer does. They don’t sit in the stance right to throw a body shot. They don’t time it properly. Probably because you need to be conscious of getting kicked in the face or kneed in the face, so it’s totally different.”
Q: As a Chelsea supporter, who do you want to see as the next manager of the club?
GG: “I’m a Lampard fan through and through. When I first started getting to go to the games when I was 15 Lamps was the man. I don’t understand that part of football because it doesn’t happen in boxing. You can be winning, winning, winning and then something goes wrong and they can’t win ever again and then they change the manager and they win the next three games. Lampard sadly hasn’t given them that kick start. I’m not a football player and I don’t really know them well enough to say if they’ve downed tools or not but it must be exhausting with the amount of games they play and time they spend away from home in each other’s company and how ruthless the sports world can be. But downing tools is not a part of anyone’s vocabulary in boxing, you can’t do that, you have to make every second count. They were talking about Pochettino maybe coming in at the end of the year and I think he’s an exceptional manager. I don’t know how much is down to coaching and strategy but whoever it is really just needs the ears and the respect of the players. There’s got to be that element of fear and love together. Football is brutal. The new regime said they didn’t want to be hiring and firing like it was under Abramovich and I’d like to see managers given time but obviously it’s a business as well.”
Q: What do you think of Todd Boehly’s ownership of Chelsea so far?
GG: “It’s a bit of a revolving door seemingly. There’s probably not many world class players who weren’t at Chelsea at some point. It must add pressure to the manager, spending all that money on bringing players in and expecting them to perform straight away. It might take them all a little bit of time to bed in and find some form. We might end up kickstarting Arsenal’s campaign again tonight (laughs).”