George Groves’ trainer Paddy Fitzpatrick has conceded the two are unlikely to work together again in the wake of the Londoner’s loss to WBC 168 lb champion Badou Jack, that happened on the undercard of Floyd Mayweather’s career swansong against Andre Berto in Las Vegas, nine days ago.
Groves stormed out of the ring following the defeat to the Swedish “Money Team” member and has since deleted all social media accounts, prompting many to believe that retirement is a very realistic possibility given it was his 3rd crack at a world title [and a 3rd loss].
Fitzpatrick began training Groves in the build up to his first fight with Carl Froch and has overseen what can only be described – now the dust has settled – as a lukewarm period for the Londoner – with many fans and writers alike claiming Groves lost his stride the moment he split from former trainer, Adam Booth – ostensibly failing to regain his vigour ever since the 2nd, decisive loss to Froch in May of 2014.
“It’s me saying this now but if George wants to come back he would need – and I think it’d be better – a new trainer,” Fitzpatrick said to clairechampion.ie.
“Since the fight we haven’t really spoken to be honest with you. His wife was with him [after the fight] and she was very upset and wasn’t necessarily saying the right things to one or two of us around him,” he added.
The Irishman, who is based in Swindon, still believes Groves has what it takes, at least physically, at the top level, although feels that the mental side of things is now going to be harder to deal with given another loss, claiming that by deleting his social media accounts, it may hint at a wider problem in that regard.
“Physically that man has everything it takes to be a world champion. Now mentally, I think it’s going to be very difficult.
“I’ve got nothing but full respect for the man,” Fitzpatrick added. “I’ve enjoyed our journey – even the crap bits – because we’ve been in it as a team and we achieved a lot and [have] overcome a lot.”
Groves is currently taking a sabbatical to decide upon whether he has got a future left in the sport at top level, saying the following in a statement released just days ago.
“Firstly I would like to thank everyone who showed me so much support for the fight last week, especially the British fans who travelled out for it.
“Ultimately it doesn’t matter how you lose a world title fight, the feeling is much the same. I lost a split decision as the challenger away from home after being knocked down in the very first round.
“I came very close to achieving a lifelong goal but it wasn’t to be. I’m now going to spend some time with my family and decide upon my future.”