George Groves happy with staying power ahead of Badou Jack clash
Last Updated: 03/09/15 8:52pm
George Groves has rejected talk that his stamina over 12 rounds will be a problem when he takes on Badou Jack in Las Vegas.
Groves meets Jack on September 12 at the MGM Grand as part of the undercard for Floyd Mayweather's welterweight fight with Andre Berto.
Endurance has been a concern during his career, most notably in his defeats against bitter super-middleweight rival Carl Froch, but Groves (21-2 KO16) says such criticism has driven him on during an eight-week training camp at altitude in California.
"I can use it to my advantage," said Groves.
"You're never going to be as fresh in the first round as you are in the last. But at the same time, I always finish strong. I've been 12 rounds before in high-intensity fights, fights which I've won, in which I haven't faltered.
"It's nice that a few people in the media, usually with an agenda, will say something, and then it catches fire and everyone jumps on it.
"Anyone who wants to base a game plan around me, around stamina, hoping that I'm going to fade and get tired... I'd never do that for any fight, because one day that guy ain't going to get tired, and I certainly ain't going to get tired.
"I'm going to be full-steam ahead, from the first second to the last, and I'm really looking forward to it."
Groves' trainer Paddy Fitzpatrick has also faced criticism over his fighter's recent performances, with the 27-year-old putting in supposed below-par displays in beating Christopher Rebrasse and Denis Douglin since the second defeat by Froch.
But Groves feels his faith in the Irishman will be vindicated with victory over Jack (19-1-1 KO12).
"This might be the fight when people actually pay real attention to the good work we've put in," he said. "Myself and Paddy have come under criticism since we've been working together.
"Against Christopher Rebrasse, he'd never been stopped, because I didn't stop him I come under criticism. I threw 1,000 shots in that fight and then I got criticised for having no stamina. I won every round.
"And then I fight Denis Douglin, I knocked him out, had a bit of a slow start but knocked him out. It's easy to criticise because we haven't won a world title yet, and it'll probably be easy to praise us once we do.
"We know we've done good work, we know we've improved, we know that in the gym we're seeing what we need to see. As long as I go out and perform as I intend to, on fight night, I'm sure Paddy, and myself, will get a little bit more respect. But we don't really fight for that any more.
"Winning over the hearts and minds of fight fans is a difficult task, you're only as good as your last interview these days. I'm not too fussed about the general perception. As long as we're winning, which we are, we're going to go out and perform and become world champion."