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Miles Shinkwin 'praying' sparring partner and friend George Groves will beat Carl Froch to win the world title at Wembley Stadium
They may have only sparred on a few occasions this time around but Bushey boxer Miles Shinkwin is hoping he has helped his good friend George Groves in his bid to become world champion at the weekend when he takes on Carl Froch at Wembley Stadium.
Shinkwin and Groves have known each other since they were 12 and would regularly be room-mates when away on England training camps.
The pair roomed most weekends when training in Crystal Palace and also when travelling abroad representing their country.
They have never faced each other competitively as they were in different weight categories, apart from one year when Groves lost in the Junior ABA semi-finals to Travis Dickinson, who was beaten by Shinkwin in the final.
The duo did spar together most weekends growing up when they were not on international duty and after several years, have started again.
"We have been sparring partners for the last three or four fight," Shinkwin said. "When I was an amateur we didn't spar because amateur boxing and professional boxing is so different. People will say 'come on it is the same sport' but it is so different. Sometimes it can be pretty pointless sparring with an amateur.
"When I turned professional George helped me out with some sparring and recently I've been helping him out.
"We used to spar regularly as kids. I used to go to the Dale Youth gym most Sundays. I used to spar George and James DeGale because they didn't spar each other as they really don't like each other; it isn't put on.
"I have only done three sessions with him this time around because I had a fight a couple of weeks ago and stopped sparring in the build-up to that and now I'm back sparring again he has finished.
"But of course I hope I have helped him in some way. I am praying that George wins."
Shinkwin was at the first WBA and IBF world title fight between the super middleweights at the Phones 4u Arena in Manchester in November. Groves knocked Froch down in the first round and gave the world champion a torrid time before the fight was controversially stopped in the ninth round, which led to the clamour for a rematch.
Picture: Action Images
Froch is favourite but it has divided opinion. Shinkwin believes his friend will win the world title on Saturday night.
He said: "I think George Groves will beat him on points. I cannot see anyone stopping Carl Froch because he has a chin like a wall. It is almost like he likes getting hit.
"I know George has been working super hard in the gym - not that he wasn't for the first fight - and I think he has the better of Carl Froch in every attribute apart from Carl's chin.
"Of course how they deal with 80,000 people will be a big factor because that is enough to make anyone nervous."
Groves appears to be mentally tough and clearly got under the skin of Froch before their first fight.
The Londoner is attempting to wind up Froch once more but Shinkwin has stressed it is all part of the game.
He said: "George is a quiet geezer and everything going on is mind games. People are saying that they hope George loses because of the stuff going on out of the ring but there is no malice in it.
"The mental side is massive in sport and you saw that in the build-up to the last fight."
Shinkwin (8-0) fights Joel McIntyre (11-0) for the Southern Area light-heavyweight title on July 12 at York Hall in Bethnal Green. Tickets can be bought by ringing 07773352710.
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