Blogs & Opinion


Glenn McCrory says George Groves needs to find his style and Guillermo Rigondeaux should have turned pro sooner

Glenn McCrory Posted 11th December 2012 view comments

George Groves is someone that confounds me.

He is a natural talent, has good boxing ability, can punch and has a very pleasant and charismatic personality, but I am unsure about what sort of fighter he is trying to be; I don't know whether he is a banger, a slugger or a boxer - and I don't think he knows either!

Groves: the Londoner needs to use his boxing acumen more, says Glenn

Groves: the Londoner needs to use his boxing acumen more, says Glenn

I would advise Groves to be more of a boxer and a little bit more defensively minded because, at the moment, he carries his hands too low and he is not great at blocking shots or making people miss.

George is a strong kid, as Johnny Nelson explains in his latest column, but I don't think he is as tough, physically hard or single-minded as Carl Froch - though, granted, not a lot of people are - so I don't think he should slip into the Cobra's approach.

I don't know whether Groves is a banger, a slugger or a boxer - and I don't think he knows either!

Glenn McCrory
Quotes of the week

If Groves gets too cocky and tries to get involved in a tear-up I think he might struggle.

But he can be a pretty boxer, much more so than Froch, and if he keeps using those skills and his jab, I think he can go far.

I think everybody thought the Saint would make greater strides after he defeated domestic rival James DeGale in the summer of 2011, but he has been blighted by injury since then and hasn't made that huge jump.

However, I don't think that is a particularly bad thing as, at 24, he is still not that old and could do with finding HIS style and gaining more experience - and experience is what he will come up against on Saturday night.

Glen Johnson is the perfect opponent for George at this stage because he is nobody's fool and has been in with some of the best fighters in the world - including Froch, who he give a very tough run for his money; he is on the way down but can still be a threat.

Johnson, 43, is coming to the end of his distinguished career and has lost his last three fights, but that doesn't mean he is there for the taking and Groves will have to use all his vitality and boxing to win.

The Jamaican's recent results have been mostly points losses or knockout victories so I think that shows you he will look to hit Groves early as the longer the fight goes on the more he will fade - but if George is cute and not thunder and lighting, I think he will win on points.

Talented

Teofilo Stevenson is, in my opinion, the greatest amateur boxer of all time, due to the weight division he was in (heavyweight) and the era in which he competed, while Felix Savon, Stevenson's fellow Cuban, runs him second.

But I think that Guillermo Rigondeaux, probably the last of the great Cubans, is the best most modern-day amateur; he is immensely talented, immensely strong and has been immensely successful, winning two Olympic gold medals, in Sydney in 2000 and in Athens in 2004.

The 32-year-old is the current WBA Super-Bantamweight champion - he defends his strap against Thailand's Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym this weekend - and the only disappointing thing with him is that some of his best work was in the unpaid ranks.

Had Rigondeaux made the move to the pros four years earlier we could have witnessed something awesome - but he has still had a pretty good career as it is, and has 11 wins in as many fights, eight of them via knockout.

A lot of amateurs try to be too clever when they turn pro, but Rigondeaux knows how skilful he is, has kept things simple and reaped the rewards. I just wish we'd seen more of it.

Exciting

Nonito Donaire, the WBO and Ring Super-Bantamweight Champion also fights on Saturday, against decorated Mexican Jorge Arce; he is a terrific fighter and it's a shame a lot of British fans might not know too much about him.

The Filipino is a very good all-round performer; he can box well, can get involved in a scrap and he is very exciting, too, and has done well to bounce back from defeat in his second pro fight, which remains the only blemish on his record.

I fear he could get another one if he fought Rigondeaux, but I really hope we get to see that fight, because quite often some of the eagerly-anticipated bouts don't take place.

I don't think we will see Manny Pacquiao fight Floyd Mayweather now, which is a shame, and it is up to fight organisers to ensure the best boxers in their division get it on.

That way the punters don't get robbed of the classics - and we can find out who really are the greatest boxers in the game.

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