George groves has ditched any ideas of sparring retreats abroad, opting instead to stay in his own gym for southpaw, strength and power training.
While his opponent Douglin, who has won 17 out of his 20 fights, is confident of beating Groves on his own turf, Groves is certain that new changes made to his training and hand-eye coordination will be enough to get him the win.
With everyone speculating on your future match ups, does it make it harder to focus on the upcoming bout with Douglin?
No, not really. I mean you’re always in this position as a boxer where people talk about fights further down the line. This is a fight, and like all fights, it’s a must win. I can’t lose this otherwise I’ll lose my mandatory position, so my focus has to be absolute at all times. It’s a fight that we chose to have because I wanted to get a few rounds back for the World Cup challenge. I’ve got full focus on Douglin, he’s a physical guy and a good fighter with a fluent style. I can’t wait to get out there.
What do you think Douglin’s weaknesses are and how are you going to capitalise on them?
I’ve always been confident against southpaws and I’ve never lost to a lefty. It poses problems for a lot of fighters who aren’t used to the style. Their opponents can leave gaping holes that leave them too exposed but I’m quite comfortable against them. Apart from the fact they tread on your front toe and sometimes you clash heads with them, southpaws don’t scare me.
Have there been any big changes to your training methods?
I’d rather train in the gym at this time of year, considering it’s colder and darker earlier on. It’s better than being out on the streets running. We didn’t need to travel abroad. Sometimes we’ll head somewhere warm for some sparring, but we’ve had some good sessions at the gym here and I’ve got a few sparring partners flying in. It’s been nice to train at home actually, especially in the last 5-6 weeks where I’ve really knuckled down. I’ve got my medical team close by and everything I need is covered at home so it’s nice.
Is there any aspect of your out of the ring training you find most effective?
My strength coach Dan Laurence probably has the hardest job because his programs can take 3 months to complete and sometimes I have to tell him to scrap it because I have a boxing match coming up in 6 weeks. He has to chop and change my training, so he combines strength phases and power phases, as well as some real sharpen-up innovation stages. Sometimes I’m outside flipping tyres and then inside I’m doing squats and deadlifts.
You’re promoting Far Cry 4, so is video gaming something you do to wind down after a hard days training?
Yeah definitely! I hide my Xbox One under the ring in the gym so I can get it out to play games wehn we're done. I have a decent set up in the gym, a sofa, big TV and a load of games. I absolutely destroyed Far Cry 3 so leapt at the chance to get involved with the fourth one. I can't wait to ride one of those elephants!
Do you reckon the fast reflexes needed when playing computer games translate to the ring at all or vice versa?
Yeah, there are some super talented gamers out there that laugh at me playing but I laugh along with them online because they couldn’t do what I do in the ring. Video games may well improve my hand-eye coordination, but their main positive effect is helping me unwind after a hard day training.
George Groves was appearing at a photo-shoot to celebrate the launch of Far Cry 4, the open-world shooter videogame from Ubisoft, available from 18th November on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Windows PC
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