George Groves arguably lost his best weapon by parting company with Adam Booth ahead of November’s showdown with Carl Froch, but the split was not caused by a dispute over money.
Groves meets Froch on November 23 in what will undoubtedly be the biggest night of his career. The WBA and IBF super middleweight titles are on the line, and Froch is a big 1-6 favourite with SkyBet, per Oddschecker.
Odds swayed deeper in favour of the champion following news that Groves’ preparations are in disarray, but Booth was keen to stress on Sky Sports there had been no fallout over his handling of Groves’ finances, per Declan Warrington of the Daily Mail:
That’s got nothing to do with it. [George] is over the moon with what he’s getting financially.
The only assumption I could have come up with is that it’s internet speculation. No one I know well would lie that badly, it’s a pathetic bit of rumour.
We don’t work together anymore, and that’s all I want to say. It’s categorically not anything to do with money.
Groves stands to make the biggest purse of his career when he and Froch square off at the Phones4u Arena, having sold 18,000 tickets in 11 minutes according to Matchroom promotions, per Eurosport.
18,000 tickets sold in 11 minutes... You got to love the British fight fans! Thank you. #TeamSaintGG— George Groves (@StGeorgeGroves) September 17, 2013
Who wins on November 23?
Booth has experience of handling some of British boxing’s biggest bouts of the last decade, including difficult negotiations that led to David Haye’s title fight with Wladimir Klitschko.
He is currently masterminding the Battle of Britain between Haye and Tyson Fury—another major money-spinner—and has helped Groves to the peak of his career to date.
Booth is primarily a trainer, though, and his worth to Groves ahead of the Froch showdown should have been deemed priceless by the fighter himself.
Froch has fought and beaten a far greater calibre of opponent than his next rival, sharing a ring with the likes of Mikkel Kessler and Andre Ward.
On paper, “The Cobra” has a more proven chin courtesy of those wars with Kessler, has savage punching power as displayed against Lucian Bute and can keep a terrific pace for 12 rounds.
Groves, by contrast, has notable wins over James DeGale, Paul Smith and Glen Johnson, but he carries a reputation far less threatening than Froch.
To beat the champion, he will need a perfect game plan just as he did against DeGale, as noted at the time by ESPN.co.uk:
DeGale's speed was a constant throughout the bout but Groves' surprise gameplan of hit and move earned him the 13th victory of his professional career - with two judges scoring the fight 115-114 while the other had it at 115-115.
Froch’s main weakness is that he enjoys a good scrap too much, and Ward showed that a slicker boxer can expose holes in the Brit’s armoury.
Groves will need to do that with a patient approach on Nov. 23 and is still capable without Booth. However, to disrupt his camp so severely and break with a winning formula is a major gamble, one that will likely prove more costly than any suggested financial shortcoming.