George Groves v Andrea Di Luisa: Preview of The Saint's return
By Isaac Robinson
Last Updated: 31/01/16 12:26am
Your one-stop preview of George Groves' return to the ring against Andrea Di Luisa at the Copper Box Arena, live on Sky Sports 1 HD from 7.30pm on Saturday.
When George Groves slipped to a split-decision defeat to WBC world champion Badou Jack on September 12, he could have been forgiven for thinking a third failure to become world champion was one disappointment too many.
'The Saint' admits he considered retirement but instead opted to part company with trainer Paddy Fitzpatrick and hire Shane McGuigan, reuniting him with former gym-mate David Haye.
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Groves is still just 27 and, buoyed by the atmosphere in McGuigan's south London gym, is bidding to begin a fourth journey to a world title fight by delighting his fellow Londoners with an emphatic victory over Di Luisa.
What the fighters say
I don't believe George is the same fighter as he was before those fights against Froch and Jack. I can only comment from my point of view. We will see how it goes, and I do have a good punch.
Andrea Di Luisa
What McGuigan says
What the experts say
Give Shane the responsibility - if he says 'jump', ask 'how high' rather than 'why'. That's the important ingredient that had gone missing from George's arsenal after he left Adam Booth.
What he did well before the Froch fight, I think he went on to neglect. Maybe he believed in his own power too much and wanted to stand and trade. If he can gel with McGuigan, he can get into those big fights again.
This is a nice fight for him to come back to and he deserves that. He's had a couple of big, hard fights and this is a nice comfortable one. He's got a new trainer and it's about settling in and getting used to it.
It worries me that George might well have hit his peak so early after what he's been through. I hope not because I want all British boxers to do well - even if I am not going to send him a good luck message.
Groves: 12st 2lb 3oz
Di Luisa: 12st 2lb 1oz