George Groves: Paul Smith says he can make his mark against Carl Froch

Last Updated: 25/09/13 2:11pm

Froch and Groves: will fight on Sky Sports Box Office on November 23

Paul Smith told Ringside that George Groves will pose Carl Froch plenty of problems in this autumn's super-middleweight showdown.

Groves, 25, will try to rip the IBF and WBA titles from his British rival at the Phones4u Arena in Manchester on November 23, but will be shorn of the advice of Adam Booth following the duo's recent split.

British super-middleweight champion Smith - who was conquered by Groves in 2011 - thinks the Hammersmith-born fighter can test Froch, who will be competing in his 34th bout in the professional ranks.

But he says it will be intriguing to see how Groves operates without former trainer Booth - who has overseen the development of heavyweight star David Haye - swelling his mind with tactical and technical advice.

"I think Froch, who has been in with world names, has the attitude that George doesn't deserve this fight, but Groves is a very good kid and a very good challenger," said Smith, who won his strap by beating Tony Dodson in June.

"Can Groves have the mental strength to stick to his style without someone like Booth giving it to him in the corner?"

Paul Smith

"It is a big step up for Groves but I think it will be more interesting than some people are making out and not a one-sided fight.

"George can make it interesting with his style, but can he have the mental strength to stick to that style without someone like Booth giving it to him in the corner?"


Smith - whose brothers Liam, Steven and Callum are also professional boxers - revealed his shock that Groves had parted ways with Booth just 10 weeks before his clash with Froch, saying that fighter and trainer "were made for each other".

There have been murmurings that Groves and Booth's separation could be a mind game aimed at throwing Froch - who has conquered Lucian Bute, Yusaf Mack and, latterly, Mikkel Kessler since he was outpointed by Andre Ward - off his game.

But boxing historian Bob Mee, who joined Smith in the Ringside studio, reckons that if that is the ploy concocted by Groves and his camp it will prove to be nothing but futile.

Smith said: "I am a bit saddened [at the Groves-Booth split] because they worked very well as a team; Adam is a very good trainer, George is a very good boxer and they gelled well together.

"They are made for each other with their attitudes as people and so it is a bit baffling - and I don't know who George would go to now to train him."

Mee added: "If this is designed in some strange way to get under Froch's skin I think it is a waste of time as Carl won't care one hoot who trains Groves."