British boxer George Groves has aimed jibes at former manager Adam Booth ahead of his IBF and WBA super-middleweight title clash with Carl Froch this weekend, following the pair's split in September.
Groves, the current Commonwealth title holder, is now working with Irishman Paddy Fitzpatrick and made no attempt to hide his dissatisfaction with his former trainer.
Groves' trainer Booth lost his trust on eve of the fight of his life http://t.co/4lyGEJ7aOw— Joe Gallagher (@gallaghersgym) November 21, 2013
The Daily Mail's Martin Domin reports Groves saying to Sky Sports ahead of the fight:
It's nice having someone in your corner who you trust and respect but sometimes you don't have that and when you don't, it's time to move on.
Adam was my trainer and manager from the start of my career to where I am now and I’ve had a good career. I’ve had some up and downs and I’ve won titles but who knows what else I could have done elsewhere.
I believe that all talented fighters need a trainer, need a good manager to keep them on the straight and narrow, that’s why I am not preparing for this fight on my own. I have still gone out and got the best team to work with so they can get the best out of you.
The Londoner comes into the fight as underdog, despite an unbeaten record as a professional. Froch has lost twice in his career, but has fought several of the sport's biggest names—losing only to Andre Ward and Mikkel Kessler, although later avenging the latter.
The Nottingham man has the greater experience and is certainly in confident mood ahead of the encounter with Groves on Saturday.
Per Sky Sports, Froch has accused Groves of planning to "run and hide" during the encounter:
I'll give you the plan now. I'll tell you what the plan is. His plan is to run and hide and to try and get through the fight. That's the only plan he can come up with, but that isn't going to work.
The pair have been far from civil to each other for some time. A rivalry has developed as their profiles within the sport have grown toward this current point where a contest is inevitable.
Such ill-feeling has certainly raised the profile of the bout in the days and weeks ahead of the clash, much to the pleasure of both the promoters and broadcasters involved.
With David Haye possibly set for retirement, per BBC Sport, British boxing has space for a new leading light and, with both Froch and Groves well positioned to claim that crown, the fight could go a long way to defining both fighters' careers.
Groves might have a great plan for beating Froch, but if he needs to change tactics part way through, he'll really miss Booth.— Groves' butcher shop (@2footshaft) November 20, 2013
Haye, of course, was also trained by Booth and benefitted throughout much of his career from his mentor's tactical instruction ahead of fights. Groves will find life more difficult without Booth's seasoned advice, but has worked with Fitzpatrick before, per BBC Sport.
The Irish trainer helped prepare both Groves and Haye at various stages of their careers, including for Groves' high-profile clash with James DeGale.
The challenger believes in his decision, but will need to be at his very best to down Froch in Manchester this weekend.