• Super-middleweight

Groves not ready for Froch - Booth

ESPN staff
December 22, 2011
Adam Booth is grooming George Groves to become his next world champion © PA Photos

Adam Booth has poured cold water on talk of a clash between his charge George Groves and former WBC super-middleweight champion Carl Froch, declaring his fighter is not yet good enough defensively to move up to elite level.

Groves has established himself as one of Britain's most exciting prospects in the last year - victory over long-time rival James DeGale in May saw him add the British super-middleweight title to his Commonwealth version, before a second-round demolition of the seasoned Paul Smith last month saw his stock rise further still.

The 23-year-old has said in the past he would relish the chance to step into the ring with Froch, and his eyes would have lit up at the sight of the Cobra succumbing to a points loss against Andre Ward in the final of the Super Six on Saturday night.

However, Booth has moved swiftly to reject talk of an imminent domestic showdown, insisting Groves is far from being ready to tackle a fighter of Froch's calibre.

"It frightens me how little he knows and how much he's got to do," Booth told West London Sport. "I've got no problem stating what his weaknesses are at the moment. I'm telling everyone that if you fight George, look for him with the right hand because you find him.

"I guarantee that if you do find him you won't hurt him, but it might help me do my job because I'm telling him things and working in training and then he gets caught by Paul Smith with the right hand in the first round."

Despite appearing to disparage the Saint, Booth is confident his unbeaten charge will give the best in the division a fright if he continues to improve and become a more complete fighter.

"George has got a lot to learn, but as long as he's winning while he's learning then I'm happy," he added. "I've no doubt he'll get there, but go into a fight against someone like Ward or Froch at this stage? No.

"When you go into a fight, you're going to do a job. And when you go to do a job, you've got to have every tool in the box. You need the tool for every single possible job you'll face. At the moment, there are so many tools we still need George to get. It's about him having all the styles that he'll need to do what he'll need to do.

"The super-middleweight division is really strong. Look at Froch, Ward and [Mikkel] Kessler. Look at Andre Dirrell and [IBF champion] Lucian Bute - all great fighters. You don't rush into fights like that until you know that you've been to see every job and know you've got the tools to do what you need to do.

"George is still young - he's only had 14 fights. But I guarantee you this: when he gets there, they'll be the ones who have things to worry about."

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