Swindon trainer to contest Groves-Froch decision

Swindon Advertiser: Swindon trainer Paddy Fitzpatrick, right, with George Groves Swindon trainer Paddy Fitzpatrick, right, with George Groves

PADDY Fitzpatrick has flown to America to contest George Groves’ world title defeat against Carl Froch with the International Boxing Federation.

Although the Swindon boxing coach admits they are not hopeful of getting the result changed to a no contest, he does expect their appeal to install Groves as the mandatory challenger for Froch’s IBF super middleweight belt.

Groves’ world title clash with Froch finished in highly controversial circumstances when referee Howard Foster pulled out Fitzpatrick’s boxer prematurely in round nine.

The decision sparked outrage throughout the boxing world and although Froch initially agreed to a rematch, he has since questioned why he should give Groves a return bout.

Fitzpatrick, who teamed up with Groves just 10 weeks before his world title fight with Froch, says he has no issues with the WBA and IBF champion and admits it is his right to call the shots.

However, Groves’ trainer does have a massive problem with referee Foster, hence the appeal to the IBF.

“I don’t think we will get the best scenario which is a no contest, so I think the best result we can get is a rematch (for the IBF belt),” Fitzpatrick told the Swindon Advertiser.

“We are trying to get George Groves as the mandatory challenger for the IBF belt.”

Fitzpatrick didn’t want to go into depth about the case they will present to the IBF although he did reveal the main issues he and Groves have with the way the November 23 fight was handled.

While Fitzpatrick along with Groves and his lawyer will contest the premature stoppage, one of their other concerns is Foster’s behaviour before the fight.

Foster publicly clicked ‘like’ on a comment on his facebook page suggesting Froch would beat Groves in round nine – an action Fitzpatrick suggested could be deemed as gross misconduct.

“The referee liked a message on facebook saying that Carl Froch would win in round nine,” said Fitzpatrick.

“That is grossly unprofessional.”

“I have no problem with Carl Froch. George has no problem with Carl Froch. I have no problem with what Carl Froch did in the ring that night. The problem is with the man who was supposed to be impartial.

“A psychologist will tell you for a man to like a comment on facebook like that is a problem.

“You can’t do that and then not recall that comment when it happens.

“That is where the problem lies.

“I am not saying Howard Foster was waiting for round nine. But a psychologist has told us that just by hearing the sound ‘round nine’ would get his mind ready to react. Round nine just happened to be the round that George took shots for the first time. It is a pity for both boxers.”

Fitzpatrick also claimed his camp’s comments were not taken seriously in the pre-fight rules meeting when they raised concerns about Foster and media portrayal of both boxers.

“We brought up the fact that there had been some contentious decisions with Howard Foster where he had jumped in too soon,” added Fitzpatrick.

“George, George’s lawyer and I all attended the rules meeting and we put that point forward.

“We also made the point that too much in the press was about Carl Froch, ‘the warrior’ and that George Groves had a ‘glass chin’. We said it was a world title fight and the fight should not be stopped prematurely. We said that George was unbeaten which proves he doesn’t have a glass chin.

“It’s a world title fight and should have been treated as such.

“We said there are two men fighting for a world title and they should be allowed to fight inside.

““We did everything the right way, we took notes in that meeting and nobody else did.

“We brought up the fact that Carl Froch has previously said if he is being fouled he would happily foul back.

“But it was like “let’s just get this little thing out of the way” and they weren’t interested in listening to us. Then in the fight, in the eighth round Carl pushes George’s head back on the ropes with his forearms. The referee warned Carl that he’d take a point off then when Carl fouls George with three more shots he did nothing.

“Carl Froch is not to blame. George Groves is not to blame. Who knows what would have happened if the fight was allowed to go on. But because Howard Foster acted too quickly and jumped in too soon, neither Carl Froch or George Groves had the chance to prove what they both said after the fight they would do.

“It’s unfinished business whichever way you look at it.”

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