Commentary

George Groves revealed he nearly quit boxing in 2015: 'I was so sick of it'

Updated: February 12, 2018, 7:01 AM ET
By Nick Parkinson Columnist Profile

George Groves celebrates knocking out Jamie Cox durng thier WBSS Super Middleweight Quarter-Final Richard Heathcote/Getty ImagesGeorge Groves celebrates knocking out Jamie Cox during their WBSS Super Middleweight Quarter-Final

George Groves revealed he nearly quit boxing after losing to Badou Jack in 2015, claiming he was "disillusioned" with the sport.

Groves (27-3, 20 KOs), 29, has had five world title fights, including an epic encounter against Carl Froch in front of 80,000 fans at Wembley Stadium in 2014.

He's registered six wins since losing to Jack in 2015 and lifted his first world title with a sixth round stoppage win over Russia's Fedor Chudinov last May.

However, he said he nearly quit the sport following his defeat to the U.S.-based Swede Jack via split decision in Las Vegas in Nov. 2015, his third world title fight at the time.

"I fought Badou Jack believing it was my time to finally win the world title, but I was disillusioned with the boxing," said Groves. "I was ready to pack it in.

"I was thinking about a unification title fight with James DeGale and then walking away.

"At that stage I'd earned enough to pay off my mortgage and maybe have enough change left to open a coffee shop or something, get out of this rat race. I was so sick of it. I just wanted to get it over with and get it done.

"I was out in Vegas for the Badou Jack fight and was being asked about what it felt like to be on the card for Floyd Mayweather's last fight. I'd not long boxed in front of 80,000 people and did not give a s--- about it.

"To then lose a split decision away from home against Jack was hard. I was frustrated.

"It wasn't long until I decided to carry on. It was more about like putting off the washing up -- I felt like I just couldn't face it. It didn't take long.

"More than anything, I felt like I hadn't achieved enough in boxing, I didn't have that belt. It took me another two years after Jack to lift the title but hey, I'm there now.

"My dad told me when I was younger never to work on a building site but other than boxing I don't know what I could do. I'm truly enjoying the boxing now and take nothing for granted."

Richard Heathcote/Getty ImagesChris Eubank Jr, left, and George Groves, right, face off ahead of their WBSS semifinal on February 17.

Groves faces Eubank Jr. at the Manchester Arena in the semifinal of the World Boxing Super Series -- an eight-man knockout tournament -- after knocking out fellow Englishman Jamie Cox in four rounds on Oct. 14.

Eubank Jr. only stepped up from middleweight a year ago and his shot at Groves' WBA super-middleweight title belt will be his first world title fight.

"The Eubank team talk about miles on the clock," Groves added. "But I have a lot of experience and I don't feel old like I've got miles on the clock and need to be scrapped any time soon.

"I've got a lot more experience than Junior. I'm 29 and he's 28, there's not a lot of an age gap between us but I've been involved in the big time.

"This fight won't be any more difficult than fighting Jamie Cox.

"He's [Eubank] got two game plans. He could either bum-rush me or he's going to showboat and skills rounds.

The winner of Groves-Eubank will progress to face either England's Callum Smith (23-0, 17 KOs) or Germany's Juergen Braehmer (49-3, 35 KOs), who fight in the other WBSS semifinal at the Arena Nürnberger Versicherung, Nuremberg, Germany, on February 24.

•Reports on boxing for ESPN.co.uk, as well as several national newspapers
•Has been reporting on British boxing for over 15 years
•Appears on BoxNation's Boxing Matters show

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