It’s world champions at war as George Groves responds angrily to public comments made by Carl Frampton about the Englishman’s fight with Callum Smith
Recently retired former WBA super-middleweight champion has come out firing on social media today after ex-two-weight ruler Carl Frampton appeared to suggest the Englishman may have ‘quit’ in his final fight, when falling to a punishing body shot from Callum Smith in the World Boxing Super Series final last September.
In a lengthy interview with Frampton and co-host Chris Lloyd released this week but recorded on October 16 for Round 39 of their TKO podcast, the Belfast hero asked guest Smith about the finish of his victory over Groves. “Was there an element of quit in him?” Frampton queried.
“I don’t think he quit,” Smith answered. “Even though he shook his head on the floor and didn’t get up. If that’s classed as quitting, I don’t know. I think the body shot kinda knocked the fight out of him.”
Frampton, who fights an ambitious Tyler McCreary later this month, later added, “That’s why there’s doubt about it because he was on his knee and shook his head.”
Groves, who has endured injuries and other setbacks throughout his career, was perhaps understandably a bit miffed. He responded on Twitter with a screen shot of a passage, prefaced with the message, “A bit too long for a tweet and we’ve blocked each other so someone please tag him.”
The note itself was rather less cryptic: “I just saw Carl Frampton suggesting in an interview with Callum Smith that I quit. If you’ve got something to say half pint then say it to me, you jealous little c**t. You know fuck all about me, and fuck all about what it took to even make it to that fight. I’m not going to let little haters like you diminish my career. Research my career. See what I overcame and try and find ‘quit’ in me.”
An hour later Frampton tweeted to Groves, "Thanks for the numbers mate. We will discuss on our next episode of #TKO."
We cannot say for sure what initially sparked their feud – though presumably one exists hence the mutual blocking – but Groves remains very close to Frampton’s former trainer Shane McGuigan, whose family split acrimoniously from Carl in a longtime dispute which remains in the courts. McGuigan was of course the man who guided Groves to a cherished world title at the fourth time of asking.
Whatever the root cause, this was not the boxing Twitter beef anyone was expecting today.