THE rematch may be on but Paddy Fitzpatrick says he wouldn’t surprised if Carl Froch backed out of his May date with his boxer George Groves.
Following Groves’ controversial defeat last year, the Fitzpatrick-trained super-middleweight will get another shot at Froch’s IBF and WBA titles after the in-demand rematch was confirmed for May 31 on Thursday.
However, while Groves’ trainer Fitzpatrick is pleased to finally get a date in the diary, he still believes the return bout is not a fight that Froch wants deep down.
“It’s just nice to have a fight date,” Fitzpatrick told the Swindon Advertiser. “I’m not particularly bothered if it’s Carl Froch or somebody else that means more to George than it does to me.
“The fight hasn’t happened yet. Carl Froch can verbally say what he wants now but you stop listening to a man who contradicts himself so much. He said on Ringside a couple of weeks ago that he can’t get up for George and the fight didn’t particularly interest him in any way and that a fight with (Julio Cesar) Chavez makes his hairs on his hands stand up.
“Now it (the fight against Groves) is a fight that he can get up for and that excites him. It is what it is.”
Fitzpatrick and Groves played a crucial part in making the rematch happen after their successful appeal to the IBF saw the Londoner installed as the mandatory challenger to Froch’s title. And Fitzpatrick was quick to point out that it is not Froch who is handing his boxer a shot at his titles.
“We went to the IBF appeal so that George would get a shot at the IBF title,” Fitzpatrick added. “Carl is defending his title against a guy that he does not want to fight.
“He is not giving George this opportunity,” added Fitzpatrick. “Carl is in a fight he doesn’t want to be in with a coach that doesn’t want him in the fight.
“He took a lot of punishment in that first fight. He went into that fight believing that all he had to do was hit George on the chin and he would go and that George wasn’t ready for him in any shape or form.
“He went back to the changing room after the last fight knowing he had been out-fought, out-gunned and out-boxed repeatedly for nine rounds. He’s going to have a lot of emotions to deal with in this next fight.
“Rob McCracken in the first fight would have believed and, possibly rightly so, that this is a 12-round fight and Carl does 12 better than George because he has been here longer. That’s okay but now he is going into this fight. This second time is totally different.”
Verbal sparring was a key factor in the first bout and the pair have already traded insults just hours after the fight was announced but Fitzpatrick believes his boxer Groves already has the psychological edge.
“None of them (Froch’s camp) wanted this fight, let’s get this right. Don’t forget he couldn’t get motivated for George and that was only two weeks ago this guy said that,” he said.
“George Groves has already won round one. He has won round one already because Carl has said ‘sit down George, I’ll tell you when I’m ready to make my decision’ and George has gone ‘no, sorry I’ll make that for you and the IBF have said you’ve got to fight me’, that is round one. That’s it.”