Tonight's showdown between WBA and IBF world super middleweight champion Carl Froch and challenger George Groves (19-0, 15 KOs) became more intriguing when we learned that Groves had replaced his long-time trainer Adam Booth with Paddy Fitzpatrick for the fight.
"Paddy speaks clearly," says Groves. "There's no waffle, no ego. When it comes to his boxing know-how, he's fierce. We're on the same wavelength."
I've long been impressed by the cold-eyed diligence of Fitzpatrick who operates the Boxing Academy in Swindon. Speaking exclusively to the Herald yesterday, he dismissed any suggestion that the hype around tonight's fight in Manchester might prove too much for Groves.
"It's not a big event," said Paddy calmly. "It's just a fight. Same as any other. George has fought dudes with big reputations before. He's fought in front of 20,000 before and on PPV. He beat James DeGale to win the Commonwealth title and then beat Paul Smith defending it. They were pressure fights."
"We're coming to this fight to prove George Groves right," he said.
LEE TAKES ON CASTILLO
He's fought in Ireland, Germany and all over the States, but tonight will be the first time in his 32-bout pro career that Andy Lee fights in England. Andy landed what will be his third bout this year when Martin Murray contracted a mystery virus and was forced to withdraw.
Lee will be hoping for an easier bout with Spain's Guzman Castillo than in his clash with Anthony Fitzgerald in Belfast in February, which turned into a serious scrap but Lee won.