George Groves Names Paddy Fitzpatrick as New Trainer Ahead of Carl Froch Fight

Ben BlackmoreFeatured ColumnistSeptember 23, 2013

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 17:  Carl Froch and George Groves go head to head to promote their upcoming fight during a press conference at the Radisson Blu Edwardian Hotel on September 17, 2013 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

George Groves is back on track for his world title showdown with Carl Froch after he named his new coach on Monday.

Groves recently parted company with longtime mentor Adam Booth, throwing his preparations for the Nov. 23 clash against Froch into disarray.

However, he has now confirmed Paddy Fitzpatrick—a man with whom he has worked on several occasions—will mastermind his bid to win the WBA and IBF world super middleweight crowns:

Groves explained the decision, via Sky Sports' report:

Paddy and I have worked closely together in the past and already have a very good relationship, one built over many years.

Although this is a fresh change for me, I'm working with someone I know and respect, and someone who knows my game inside out. We both know how the other works, so it won't take long to hit the ground running. 

His experience and knowledge of the game is world-class and he is, without doubt, the perfect trainer to help me prepare for my next fight. He has a great energy, both in the gym and on fight night, and I feel totally comfortable in his presence.

The decision to appoint Fitzpatrick as his chief coach will bring intrigue back to the Froch vs. Groves encounter, which had threatened to become one-sided when Groves split from Booth last week.

Booth has a reputation as one of the game’s great thinkers, inspiring superb tactical displays by Groves and David Haye against James DeGale and Nikolai Valuev respectively.

In a sport that rarely gives acknowledgement to the men behind the fighter, Booth’s reputation goes before him in British boxing and he was viewed as one of Groves’ greatest assets against Froch.

However, Fitzpatrick will need no time acclimating to Groves’ game. As the Brit says, his new coach knows him well and will instantly be aware of how to advise him against the granite-chinned, breathless Froch.

Fitzpatrick has years of experience at the world-renowned Wild Card gym, where he worked with the likes of Freddie Roach and Buddy McGirt, per Eurosport.

With two months to prepare Groves for the challenge of Froch, Fitzpatrick is highly unlikely to attempt to reinvent the wheel.

Groves’ hands are getting faster, he boasts a tight style and jabs extremely effectively. His output is not as good as Froch’s so Fitzpatrick will likely advise his man to fight efficiently, beating his compatriot with efficiency over volume.

Crucially he will steady a ship that was feared to be heading off course last week, handing Groves the stability and familiarity he needs to focus on the biggest night of his career.