GROVES TO FACE BADOU JACK FOR WBC TITLE
By TOM WATT on May 26 2015
Last week, The Sauerland Brothers confirmed via Twitter that purse bids for the upcoming WBC Super-Middleweight World Title fight between Britain’s George Groves and American Badou Jack have been cancelled as the parties have come to an agreement. Details are yet to be released but so far we know the fight will take place in America.
This will be Groves’ first step back into title contention since his back-to-back defeats against Carl Froch in 2013 and 2014 and the Londoner will be taking no chances when it comes to preparation for the big night. Since then Groves has put together two straight victories, first beating highly-rated Frenchman Christopher Rebrasse for the WBC Silver Title in September and then Knocking Out the rugged Denis Douglin in November in front of a packed Liverpool crowd. Whilst he has taken the win in both these fights, Groves hasn’t quite looked back at his best and many – including Froch – believe he has never been the same since that knockout at Wembley.
However, Groves is a man that has never been short on confidence and feels that it is only a matter of time before he becomes World Champion just as his long-standing rival, James DeGale just did in Boston – After two very tough fights with a World Champion of the caliber of Froch and having sparred with Golovkin in Big Bear last year, Groves knows what is needed to reach the higher levels and will have learnt a great deal more from those two losses than he ever would from a victory.
Badou Jack, for his part, is no stranger to setbacks, the Swedish fighter (now fighting out of Vegas as part of Floyd Mayweather’s ‘Money Team’) seemed to moving towards his goal of a World Title shot when he was KO’d in the first round against Derek Edwards, a man who everyone expected Jack to beat with ease. Since then however, Jack bounced back with two straight victories that landed him the chance to challenge Anthony Dirrell for the WBC World Title, an opportunity he took with both hands, defeating Dirrell by Majority Decision in a hotly contested bout last month – a win that most critics doubted he could deliver.
Jack will come into this fight full of the confidence that winning a World Title brings and Groves will need to be at his best if he is to wrestle the Title away from Jack in his own backyard – something a number of Groves’ compatriots Kell Brook and James DeGale have done in recent memory. I expect Groves to not want to leave anything to the judges scorecard and try to apply pressure to Jack early on, Jack for his part knows that Groves can be lured into opening up and would expect to see him setting traps throughout the fight to try and counter Groves’ aggression. Game-plans don’t mean anything unless executed though and there can be no doubting that Groves has the ability to get under his opponent’s skin as we’ve seen in the past and if he is able to rattle the defending Champion then that could have an effect on the outcome. This fight will be a mental battle as much as a physical one and it will be interesting to see how the American audience takes to Groves in the build-up to this one – he is already a great ticket-seller in the UK and taking his brand successfully to the States would open some big pay-days in the future. First though, he must get past the reigning and defending Champion.
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Groves was ringside for Badou Jack's Title win over Anthony Dirrell (Above)