George Groves is moving forward with Frank Warren Promotions. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
George Groves surprised many observers and those in the boxing industry by signing a three-year deal with Frank Warren Promotions, after word was that the young British super middleweight champion would be headed instead to Eddie Hearn's Matchroom Sport.
What's clear is that Groves was looking to sign on with a real promoter instead of David Haye's vanity firm, Hayemaker Promotions, and he has done that. Adam Booth will still train and manage Groves, who explained his decision to go to Warren in an interview with talkSPORT (full audio available at the link):
"There’s been a rivalry between Hayemaker and Frank Warren Promotions since before me and James turned professional so it’s shocked a lot of people, but it was the right move for me," Groves told talkSPORT.
"My day-to-day work won’t change. I am still trained and managed by Hayemaker and Adam Booth still looks after me in the gym but I will be boxing on Frank Warren shows now.
"Frank is a good promoter and that is what he does best and I feel boxing on his shows is the thing I need to do to get to the top."
Now, as for a rivalry between Warren and Hayemaker, eh, not really. Hayemaker was David Haye and George Groves, basically, so there wasn't a great deal of competition between the two. Now Hayemaker is simply Haye, and the fact that Groves is being promoted by Warren and still managed by Booth isn't even that big of a deal. To treat it like it's some conflict of interest in any way is to make Hayemaker out to be much more than it really is as a company.
Groves (13-0, 10 KO) has made the right move, and it would have been the right move to go to Matchroom, too. He needed a real promoter, because he has real earning potential, and both Warren and Hearn have good ties with Sky Sports, and can get Groves on bigger bills. And I also think he made the right move to keep Booth, who has proven to be a strong negotiator in the past, and has shown more as a trainer than I think most people used to believe he had. I think he's proven to be more shrewd and more clever than many of us -- myself included -- assumed he was in the past.
Groves says he's ready for a rematch with Kenny Anderson, who floored Groves and gave him fits in a great little fight last November, and that a rematch with James DeGale isn't in his immediate plans for the time being. I don't think there's any doubt that Groves and DeGale will face off again down the line, but it won't be happening right away. They already did it big once, now they can both afford to let a rematch simmer for a bit, and with both under the Warren banner, that's probably what Frank has planned as well.