Watkins backs Groves to stop Froch

Luke Watkins is backing George Groves to stop Carl Froch

Paddy Fitzpatrick (right) and George Groves

First published in Sport Swindon Advertiser: Photograph of the Author by

LUKE Watkins believes George Groves will stop world champion Carl Froch at Wembley on Saturday night.

The Swindon boxer has played a pivotal role in the build-up to the IBF and WBA world super-middleweight contest as one of Groves’ key sparring partners.

And while the majority of boxing pundits and fans are struggling to pick a winner, Watkins is in no doubt that Groves is going to emphatically steal Froch’s two world title belts.

“It’s been a perfect training camp for George,” revealed Watkins, whose coach Paddy Fitzpatrick is Groves’ trainer. “Everything has gone the way it needed to.

“I don’t think this fight will go the distance. It will be over inside six rounds, because George Groves is going to get to him.

“George Groves will stop him.”

Challenger Groves stunned the world when the pair first met in November by flooring Froch in the first round, but Watkins isn’t sure if Groves will repeat his opening round heroics in Saturday’s rematch although he hasn’t ruled it out completely.

“I don’t know myself (if the fight will get off to an explosive start). I don’t think Carl Froch will be underestimating George Groves this time. He will go in there with he eyes wide open. He said he underestimated George last time and he definitely did,” added Watkins. “I would probably say not (George putting down Carl in the first round again).

“That was the perfect start, the perfect punch at the perfect time and I can tell you that is hard to reproduce in training let alone in a world title fight.

“But it happened last time and there’s no reason why it can’t happen again.”

Heavyweight Watkins sparred Groves in the build-up for the first fight against Froch and claims the Londoner is “stronger and fitter” than last time.

“Animalistic is the way I would describe George right now,” said Watkins. “He looks stronger, fitter and fuller at the weight. Last time I sparred him I would definitely say I noticed a vast improvement.”

Watkins justified why he thinks Groves will become the first person to ever stop Froch, adding: “George schooled me a bit in sparring and I was at the best I have been.

“He has been hurting everyone in sparring. I don’t think anyone has sparred with him and not come out hurt.

“He’s been knocking people out (in sparring) same as he was since he was 10-11 years old.

“Everything happens for a reason. There is a definite buzz around Paddy’s gym, quite a few people are going from the gym and from Swindon I think.

“I’m going, I’ll be flitting around the camp but I don’t have a specific role to play. There’s nothing for me to do, it’s between the coach and the fighter.”

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