George Groves and Gennady Golovkin are preparing together for world title fights
Trainer discusses fascinating sparring
Last Updated: 31/07/15 8:17am
George Groves is training for his world title fight at Gennady Golovkin’s Big Bear gym, confirmed the Kazakh’s trainer Abel Sanchez.
The Hammersmith puncher challenges for Badou Jack’s WBC super-middleweight strap, possibly on Floyd Mayweather’s September 12 undercard, so has retreated to the iconic California gym that houses one of boxing’s most feared champions.
The undefeated WBA and WBC interim middleweight title-holder Golovkin trains at The Summit Gym in Big Bear but the scheduling of his unification fight against David Lemieux might scupper any potential sparring sessions with Groves, according to Sanchez.
"I only like Golovkin in camp for eight to nine weeks,” the trainer told Sky Sports.
"Our fight is on October 17 so he won’t be back until August 17. By that time, George will be finishing up and Golovkin is just starting - so probably not."
Sanchez has been impressed with Groves' stint in the training region used extensively by Oscar De La Hoya, and the veteran trainer believes he can help the Londoner become world champion.
Groves' and Golovkin's paths may not cross just yet but Sanchez, who is cornering Carson Jones against Brian Rose at the Rumble on the Humber, confirmed he will throw his newest protégé to the wolves and make him spar with established Big Bear fighters.
"He’ll stop Badou Jack,” Sanchez said. “I don’t think Jack understands the level that George is at.
"Just by fighting Carl Froch and having been in that situation makes a big difference mentally.
He’ll stop Badou Jack. I don’t think Jack understands the level that George is at. Just by fighting Carl Froch and having been in that situation makes a big difference mentally.
Abel Sanchez on Groves
"Physically, he’s such a strong, rugged guy that Badou won’t be able to handle him.
"Once I get back, there’s several guys in my gym that George will be sparring with.
"George likes [training in Big Bear], and [his trainer] Paddy Fitzpatrick likes it too. The altitude helps him but he's getting away from distraction to an area where he can concentrate on what he’s doing, and prepare the way it’s supposed to be for a big fight."
Sanchez also reminisced over the memory of Golovkin sharing sparring sessions against light-heavyweight colossus Sergey Kovalev.
The Russian, now unbeaten in 29 fights and holding WBA, IBF and WBO championships, spent time in Big Bear as a promising youngster and shared a ring with Golovkin.
"I had Sergey for a year-and-a-half and we had eight fights and eight knockouts," Sanchez said.
"When he started with me, he had nine fights and Golovkin was already a world champion.
"The sparring, as with all champions and up-and-comers as Kovalev was back then, the champion obviously had the better of it. But Kovalev, when he left my gym after 17 fights, was a very good fighter.
"I told him before he left that he’d be world champion within three or four fights. He is a very good fighter but it took maturing in the gym and those eight fights to make him better. Being around the gym with Golovkin made him better."