Groves puts weight behind Swindon stars

Super-middleweight George Groves pictured in an open training session with Paddy Fitzpatrick last week

Super-middleweight George Groves pictured in an open training session with Paddy Fitzpatrick last week

First published in Sport Swindon Advertiser: Photograph of the Author by , Deputy sports editor

GEORGE Groves is hoping that his profile will help open doors for Garvey Kelly and Luke Watkins as they make their way into professional boxing.

The world title super-middleweight contender has signed a management deal with the two Swindon fighters as they make their way into the paid ranks.

With all three boxers trained by Paddy Fitzpatrick, exciting times are awaiting them.

Cruiserweight Watkins will make his professional debut on the undercard of Groves’ first fight since his defeat to Carl Froch in front of 80,000 fans at Wembley Stadium in May.

The 24-year-old, who sparred a former English super-middleweight challenger Patrick Mendy last weekend, will be aiming to burst on the scene at Wembley Arena on September 20 in a six-round contest.

Groves, who gained his manager’s licence prior to that Froch fight, said: “(They are) two fighters that I have known a while since I have been training with Paddy.

“Both of them want to turn professional, they are ready to turn professional and I said that I don’t mind helping out if I can.

“You need a signed manager when you turn professional, I’m happy to be that person.

“I believe that I can open a lot of doors for them, provide some opportunities, get them fights, get them sparring, introduce them to promoters when the time is right.

“Watkins is likely to have four bouts before the end of the year, while welterweight Garvey should have two with his debut expected to be in October.

“At this stage of the game the aim is to keep them busy, because what they want to do is learn as much of the pro game as quickly as possible.

“They are both ambitious fighters, both realistic fighters, they know that they have to take calculated risks to get on in the game.

“They are not in it for an easy ride, they are in it to work hard and I think that they have both got potential to become champions.”

Trainer Fitzpatrick is pleased that Groves, who faces Christopher Rebrasse next month for the European and WBC Silver title, is helping guide both Watkins and Kelly.

He said: “It is nice to have someone like George backing them.When you get someone like George in the position that he is in, open a few doors and make things happen, that is always an advantage in this game. I don’t think that it is ever good enough for someone to say that they are turning pro.

“Then you say what are your plans? ‘Er, I’m just going to win some fights’. That is not a plan.

“You are in the hardest game in the world, you need to turn pro with a plan; the plan is to get them busy and keep them busy.”

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