Groves: ‘Frank made offer we couldn’t refuse’
As far as switching sides go, George Groves’ relocation to Frank Warren Promotions this summer was as bold a move as Carlos Tevez’s traipse across the Manchester divide a couple of summers back.
You would think that being trained, managed, and having been promoted by a man Warren dubbed the ‘hardest to work with’ in all his time in the sport, and the reason Warren’s brightest talent has a loss on his record would be enough to keep them apart, but you would be wrong.
Here the British and Commonwealth super-middleweight champion explains why - why he had to leave Hayemaker Promotions, why ended up in the Warren stable, and why a rematch with James DeGale is not in his immediate plans…
George, take us from the top – why the Hayemaker Promotions exit?
There's a lot that goes on behind the scenes and I haven't left Hayemaker. I am still managed by and train with Adam Booth. Hayemaker is essentially is David Haye and Adam Booth and I was fighting alongside him. It’s a really small family unit and when David's not boxing a lot of doors would probably get shut, and I understood that. After my last fight with DeGale I got a lot more profile and I can stand on my own two shoes now so signing with Frank Warren was the best thing to do at this moment in time. He's going to give me the ability to box, take the fights I need to take and pay the bills as well.
How much persuading did it take from Frank to get you to sign on the dotted line?
Listen Frank made a very good offer and after a discussion with Adam Booth about what we needed to get done in the next couple of years we decided the safest and the most successful route was with Frank Warren. The offer must have been good for us to sign with Frank Warren cos Adam and Frank's rivalry goes back before I even turned pro, it only escalated when I boxed James. But there's a mutual respect there and that's the most important thing in boxing. I know that Adam has my best interest at heart and I hope that Frank has as well. In fact I hope that Frank trusts in his business brain because I’m the one it’s going to pay off for in the end.
DeGale’s got a European title shot after you beat him, are you worried that you could end up playing second fiddle to him in the Warren stable?
I think DeGale's European title shot was signed before I beat him so that shows Frank's ability to negotiate and to get his boxers the fights. There’s only one person that should be worrying about their futures prospects with me joining the Frank Warren promotional banner and it’s not me.
So does the move mean it won’t be long before we see the rematch between you and DeGale?
A rematch is not in my immediate plans and Frank knows that. I don't think that anyone would benefit from a rematch, all I'll do is get a couple of extra quid to beat James DeGale again and then you'll never hear of him again. But for him its good that he's got a European title fight, for me it’s about working on getting to the world title level and staying there. I'm still only 23, I've still only had 13 fights, and just because I was main event in a pay-per-view fight that I won and sold out the O2 in the process, doesn’t mean I’m a world class fighter. I'm a realist and I know it takes a lot of hardwork and dedication to be a great fighter, and I’ve still got a lot to do.