George Groves talks to Umbreen Khan about life in retirement, Sergey Kovalev vs Anthony Yarde, Canelo Alvarez and more
He never liked the dieting, so it is perhaps a surprise how trim former super-middleweight world champion George Groves has remained since retiring from boxing in January. Naturally the Londoner’s good condition and the fact he only lost his last fight to divisional supremo Callum Smith has led to questions regarding a comeback. Despite a role looking after fighters for the Wasserman group, Groves is still only 31 and those famous competitive fires will take some dousing, but the man himself insists there will be no comeback.
“I don’t miss fighting but I like being around the boxing, I like coming and dipping my toe in a bit,” he revealed. “I’m a manager, I work as a boxing consultant out of Wasserman (WMG). They were my managers really at the end of my career and my commercial agents for the vast majority of my career. So they take care of a few fighters here in the UK. They brought me in, hopefully we can start working with some big talents, probably the biggest name they had recently was Jarrell Miller who unfortunately blew his massive chance with Anthony Joshua so, yeah that’s how I’m dipping my toe in to boxing.”
While Groves professes understandable respect for his final conqueror, Callum Smith, who defeated “St George” in the World Boxing Super Series final, he believes the light-heavyweight division is more exciting right now, a view supported by the recent dramatic fight involving Sergey Kovalev and Anthony Yarde, not to mention the possibility of the Russian next fighting Canelo Alvarez.
“I thought Kovalev would win because he’s got the home advantage and obviously the experience and everything else, but I was impressed with Yarde, he gave it a real good account,” he explained. “I mean it wasn’t really there on the scorecards but he was dangerous until late, fatigue got him in the end, the corner telling him to go and empty the tank which he pretty much did in the eighth round, nearly got rid of him, it just wasn’t enough to see him over the line. I think he’ll come back stronger from that and I wish him really well, he would have gained an awful lot of experience from that and he came really close so fair play to him.
“I imagine that Kovalev vs Canelo is a chance for Canelo to pick up another belt in a new division. He must see something in Kovalev that he’s confident of and it’s just a massive money-spinner for both of them which there always is with Canelo, so he must be confident, so therefore I’m confident of Canelo. I think Canelo will probably beat him. He seems to be able to carry his physicality, his strength and definitely his power through the divisions. I don’t think it will be this year, I think that’s too soon for Kovalev and if it is, again, it plays into Canelo’s hands.”