• Boxing

Froch backs Groves to stun DeGale

ESPN staff
April 11, 2011
Carl Froch can boast a win over Andre Dirrell, who is sparring with George Groves in Miami © Getty Images

WBC super-middleweight champion Carl Froch has scoffed at James DeGale's suggestions he knocked out George Groves during a sparring session.

DeGale made the claim last week, ahead of his Commonwealth and British title clash against Groves on May 21 at London's O2 Arena.

"That's rubbish," Froch told boxingfutures.com. "Yes I put Groves over, and it was in Sheffield with the GB squad so a lot of them watched me do it and have probably talked about it I guess. And I didn't knock him out - if I knock somebody out, that means they're out cold and don't carry on fighting.

"I put him over in about round two or three of our spar and he got up and carried on for another couple of rounds, he was alright."

DeGale is the clear favourite for the clash, having made the more impressive start to his professional career, stopping the veteran Paul Smith in December to clinch the British strap. But Froch is not writing off Groves, who like DeGale remains unbeaten, especially after he brought celebrated super-middleweight Andre Dirrell into his Miami training camp.

"I've already said DeGale is kidding himself if he thinks this fight is a formality," Froch said. "For me it's a lot closer than everyone seems to think. People say DeGale hasn't been tested yet but that's because he's outboxed everyone he's been in the ring with.

"But don't write off Groves, he's got the perfect sparring partner in Andre Dirrell, he's fast, hard to hit and comes back with good shots. It's great preparation for someone like DeGale."

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