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Groves: Froch is a broken man

ESPN staff
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George Groves believes Carl Froch is already "broken" before their IBF and WBA world super-middleweight title rematch at Wembley on May 31.

The pair go toe-to-toe for a second time after Groves was left shocked by referee Howard Foster's controversial decision to stop their first bout in November.

Making way for Prince

  • Carl Froch and George Groves have been forced to stage their weigh-in outside of the main hall at Wembley Arena… because of Prince.
  • The popstar will be playing a one-off gig on May 30, with Froch and Groves set to clash in their rematch 24 hours later.
  • Froch and Groves will have to step on to the scales outside of the main hall to make way for Prince as a result, with The Sun quoting a Wembley Arena insider as saying: "It's fair to say the boxing people are not pleased. But to have boxers inside the Arena with a large section of media would have caused all sorts of logistical problems."

Groves has vowed to pay back Froch for what he feels has been a wasted six months and the Hammersmith-born fighter believes the 'Cobra' is showing signs of weakness after it was revealed he had spoken to a psychiatrist.

"He's essentially telling people he's broken," Groves told ESPN's Steve Bunce. "It's good for Carl but I don't think it's good for this fight because ultimately he's stacking it at the wrong angles.

"First he's saying he's a phenomenal fighter and an international superstar who's boxed all these huge names and never struggled. Yet he comes up against me, a guy who's beneath him and he couldn't get up for it in the first fight, and he can't bear to hear my name and has to see someone to talk him through those issues.

"The last thing he wants is to be fighting and certainly not six months after the last fight. He wants to go away and repair. The issue isn't with me - it's with himself. That's going to take an awful long time to repair, especially when you look at a 10-year career where he's got by with fundamental mistakes.

"He's had success with the things he's done wrong. It's very difficult to understand and correct yourself, when you never know you've made a mistake until it's pointed out in front of you. "I pointed out a lot of mistakes in Carl in the last fight. He's going to have go back to the gym and address them. No doubt he's having tough conversations with his coach.

"They've been together a long time and his coach is telling him to do different things. He'll be thinking in the back of his head, 'why haven't you told me this before? If you have, why haven't I listened? Why haven't you made sure I've corrected these problems? How come I've got this far with all these problems?'

"If he's not changed anything we're going to see a repeat of the first fight, except I've improved and made adjustments. He's in a no-win situation."

Groves, who on Tuesday signed a deal with European promoters Sauerland despite recently obtaining a licence from the British Board of Boxing Control to manage himself, has shown no shortage of confidence ahead of the rematch.

The challenger is ready to showcase his talent in front of 80,000 fans and says Froch is no longer the fighter he thinks he is.

"I don't have anything against sports psychiatrists or sportsmen who want to see them and improve their mental state. We see a lot finish their careers and you realise they have inner demons and serious mental issues," Groves said.

"I've never felt I needed it. I don't need to speak to anyone to gain confidence or remain grounded and intact with reality. Carl has elevated himself above and beyond myself, other British fighters and other world fighters.

"He keeps talking about himself as being a pound-for-pound top five fighter in the world and talks about his legacy. This is stuff you never hear a current fighters taking about, they never talk about their legacy.

"It doesn't fit his personality or profile. He's not like a typical brash American fighter who's always dined out on being that sort of fighter. He's always been relatively grounded and humble, all of a sudden he got a bit of recognition and it took off with him. It's easy to let your feet come off the ground, but the hardest thing is to land safely.

"Most of the time you come back crashing down to earth like I brought him down to earth in November. When he gains a tiny bit of confidence in the build-up to a fight I've noticed that straight away. It's a false reality, he's not the fighter he thinks he is and he's not in the fight he thinks he is. He needs to pay attention to who he's fighting."

A referee for the highly-anticipated rematch has not yet been confirmed after the Froch camp objected to the appointment of American Jack Reiss. Groves' camp initially called for a foreign referee following the fallout from the first fight, while trainer Paddy Fitzpatrick has also called for whoever is charged with officiating to watch out for Froch "fouling".

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