George Groves claims he has Chris Eubank Jnr’s number — because he hurt him in sparring when they were younger.
Groves defends his WBA Super title against fellow Englishman Eubank on Saturday in the semi-finals of the World Boxing Super Series, and said he has already proved in the ring that he is better than him.
The pair sparred at the start of their careers and Groves, now 29, recalled flashy Eubank, who is a year younger, was an easy target.
“In our spars, I never had a problem hitting him,” said the super-middleweight king, who is making the second defence of his crown. “He’s always been very easy to hit. Sometimes he is happy to take a shot to land a shot. He was busy.
“I spent a lot of time on the ropes with Eubank, letting him tee off, making him miss, hitting him, and a couple of the shots would have chinned him. I straightened his legs a few times.
“He does not move his head correctly. He does it in a showboaty way so it makes people wary of throwing punches.
“But my jab has always been so good and so fast that it doesn’t really work with me.
“I believe that I am the best super-middleweight in the world. He hasn’t boxed anyone as good, fast, strong or as big as me.”
Groves, who is 27-3-0, claimed Eubank has been beating up raw amateurs in sparring to boost his confidence for their showdown in front of a sold-out 22,000 crowd at Manchester Arena.
He said his 26-1-0 rival, who holds the lightly-regarded IBO belt, will not pay for proper sparring and that it will cost him: “He wasn’t a threat to anyone coming through, so he got good-quality sparring. He was sparring me, DeGale, Froch, everyone. He would travel.
“Now, he won’t spar any of the top guys because they might end up fighting. He doesn’t pay well, so he gets who he can get in. He usually has local amateur lads, he probably does this to work on his confidence. He tries to beat up on guys and dominate them.”
* Groves v Eubank is live on ITV Box Office this Saturday.
For more details, go to www.ITVBoxoffice.com
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