By Nick Parkinson, courtesy of The Daily Star
GEORGE GROVES is back in love with boxing – and thinks that means heartache for Chris Eubank Jnr.
The WBA world champion makes a second defence in the World Boxing Super Series semi-final at the Manchester Arena on Saturday.
And if he beats Brighton boaster Eubank then Groves will face Callum Smith or Juergen Braehmer, who fight on February 24, in the final of the eight-man event to decide the world’s best 12-stone fighter.
But the Londoner, 29, considered throwing in the towel to open a coffee shop after a loss to Badou Jack in 2015.
He said: “I fought Jack believing it was my time to win the world title.
“But I was feeling disillusioned with the sport. I was ready to pack it in, I was thinking about a unification title fight with James DeGale and then walk away.
“At that stage I’d earned enough to pay my mortgage off and maybe have enough 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 Jack fight and was being asked about what it felt like to be on the card for Floyd Mayweather’s fight.
“I’d not long since boxed in front of 80,000 people and did not give a s**t about it.
“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 young never to work on a building site but other than boxing I don’t know what to do.
“I’m truly enjoying the boxing now and take nothing for granted.”
Groves says his experience will count against Eubank, who only stepped up from middleweight a year ago and will be in his first world title fight.
He said: “The Eubank team talk about miles on the clock, but I have experience – I don’t feel old like I’ve got miles on the clock and need to be scrapped any time soon.”
But Eubank believes Groves is damaged goods.
He said: “He’s not as mentally strong as me. The Froch fight took something out of him.
“I’m a man of my word – George won’t see the 12th round next weekend.”