George Groves full of confidence ahead of clash with Martin Murray
By Isaac Robinson
Last Updated: 04/05/16 12:35pm
George Groves claims new trainer Shane McGuigan has unlocked his strength as preparations for the Martin Murray bout begin.
Groves (23-3-KO18) has fought twice under McGuigan's guidance - bouncing back from last August's controversial points defeat to world champion Badou Jack with quick-fire wins over Andrea Di Luisa and David Brophy.
The Londoner will now face Murray (32-3-1-KO15) in a WBA super-middleweight title eliminator at the The O2 on June 25 on the undercard of Anthony Joshua v Dominic Breazeale, and is eager to begin preparations in a gym that also counts Carl Frampton and David Haye among its fighters.
Groves told Sky Sports News HQ: "I've had two successful outings with Shane McGuigan and things are going great. This is obviously a step up in opposition for us but we're more than happy to move up.
"I'm enjoying my boxing, back boxing well. I feel like I'm improving and there's no reason why I can't go on to win a world title. It's exciting for me. I'm enthusiastic about starting training which is always a good thing. I'm counting down the weeks until the fight.
"I'm feeling sharp, hitting hard and feeling bigger than I have before. Working with Shane now, I'm back to my very best and I'm ready to take on anyone.
"Shane's philosophy on training suits the way I like to fight. You look at the other fighters he trains and the way they perform - they're very fast, explosive and powerful fighters. Whenever I've taken that approach to my boxing, I've always done well.
Shane is a young trainer with a lot of energy and that bounces off you as a fighter. I feel super-fit but big and strong.
"It's not just on fight night. You need to be drilling this week-in and week-out in the gym. Shane is a young trainer with a lot of energy and that bounces off you as a fighter. I feel super-fit but big and strong.
"I'm rubbing shoulders with Carl Frampton, David Haye and lots of other great fighters in the gym. His dad, Barry McGuigan, is there giving you advice. It's a great place to be and something I know will get me to that next level."
In St Helens' Murray, Groves faces another man to have tasted bitter disappointment at the very top level, with four unsuccessful world title fights to Groves' three.
Assessing his opponent, Groves added: "Everyone's seen plenty of me and plenty of Murray. He's a very good fighter who's campaigned at the highest level. He's world-level opposition.
"He's a good fighter, a neat and tidy boxer with a high work-rate. Nothing much more can be said apart from 'a war'. A war is my prediction.
"It's a big fight for both of us. Win this fight and it should open plenty of doors for me to step on and fight for a world title and achieve my goal of becoming a world champion.
"It's a WBA world title eliminator. The current champion is Felix Sturm, who's tested positive for a banned substance. If he's found to have been cheating with the B sample, then the belt will revert back to Fedor Chudinov, who he beat earlier this year.
"I'm assuming that the winner of me and Murray will have a shot against either Sturm or Chudinov but this is such a big high-profile fight that all the world champions out there will be looking at it and saying, 'The winner is a big fight that will generate lots of money and interest'."
Ahead of one of the biggest domestic fights of the year, Murray will fight on the undercard of Anthony Crolla's world title defence on May 7 - live on Sky Sports.