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Groves is giving Swindon boxing scene a buzz
TRAINER Paddy Fitzpatrick believes the buzz created by world title hopeful George Groves’ spell in Swindon can only be a positive for boxing in the town.
The 25-year-old has spent the last four weeks working in secret at trainer Fitzpatrick’s Ferndale Road gym ahead of his world super-middleweight bout with Carl Froch in Manchester on November 23.
Groves’ presence has created a positive atmosphere around the gym, and while Fitzpatrick has been pleased with the work the fighter has done he is also hopeful his spell in Wiltshire will prove to be beneficial for boxing in the town.
“Having George in Swindon is good for the town and it’s brilliant to have fighters of his calibre down here,” he said.
“George is an easy going guy who will get on anywhere and he seems to have enjoyed being down here in Swindon which is great.
“We settled in really quickly and got going quickly because he knows me and he knows what my work ethic is like in the gym, and he likes it and there have been no problems.
“It’s nice for people to come to the gym and know there’s a fighter like George training down there, and it’s good for the morale of the other fighters here and good for the people who just come to use the gym.
“The sessions were closed and we didn’t tell anyone he was in Swindon, but it was good for the other guys because they know he’s been here and maybe it could inspire them.”
The pair left Swindon following their session on Tuesday to move on to train in London in the lead up to the fight, where the finishing touches will be added to prepare for Froch.
“We move on now for the last push and the concentrated bit of camp where we focus on polishing for the fight,” Fitzpatrick said.
“The foundations are in and they look good and now we need repetition until fight night.
“The sparring is going to be more intense now, although Luke Watkins has done well as his stable partner because he is a big physical man who can offer one of the sides to the story.”
Fitzpatrick is enjoying being involved in such a high profile fight, and while he knows there are people who will wonder why Groves plumped for a relative unknown following his split from long term trainer Adam Booth the Irishman is proud to have been given the chance.
“I’m not an inexperienced guy and I’ve been around boxing long enough to keep composed and I can’t become a fan of the fight because it’s a completely different mentality,” he said.
“There are loads of great coaches out there and plenty of those people will say there are coaches out there more deserving of it than me, but he chose me because he chose me and I never asked why.
“We are on the same page in what we do and we knew each other already, and while there could be people more deserving it’s me and him now and that’s how it is.”
Watkins was due to be in action this weekend in the ABA Senior Novices Championships but has been given a bye to the next round after his opponent pulled out with a broken nose, much to the Swindon man’s frustration.
“There’s nothing worse than preparing for a fight and then going through all the training and getting right mentality, just for your opponent to pull out,” he said.
“He’s got a broken nose and we only found out at the end of the week, and it’s all very frustrating.”
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