British super middleweight contender George Groves has confirmed Irishman Paddy Fitzpatrick as his new trainer – with immediate effect.
The move to employ experienced Fitzpatrick, whom he has worked with in the past, follows the 25-year-old’s shock decision to split with long-time trainer Adam Booth last week – barely two months before the stiffest test of his so-far faultless rise up the 168-pound ladder.
Groves (19-0, 15 knockouts) challenges fellow-Englishman Carl Froch for his IBF title at the Manchester Arena on November 23.
“I am extremely happy to name Paddy Fitzpatrick as my new trainer going into what is the biggest fight of my life,” he said on Monday. “Paddy and I have worked closely together in the past and already have a very good relationship, one built over many years.
“Not only has he worked my corner for important fights, we have also spent a lot of time together when abroad on training camps, where Paddy has overseen a number of significant sessions.
“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.”
Far from worry about the potential risks of switching trainers so close to a huge fight, Groves is convinced the partnership with Fitzpatrick, who learnt his trade at Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Gym and then alongside Booth’s in the Hayemaker camp, significantly boosts his chances of upsetting 36-year-old Froch.
“I’m looking forward to working with Paddy on a full-time basis, and I’m excited to start adding many more tools to my arsenal,” said Groves, of Hammersmith, west London. “By the time November 23 arrives, I’ll be better than ever – and more than capable of dethroning Carl Froch.”
You can follow Harry Pratt on Twitter: @gharrypratt