World number 55 Jamie Jones looks ahead to the big fight between Carl Froch and George Groves, and reflects on his own very brief boxing career.
Jamie, you’ve been tweeting a bit about Froch v Groves this week, are you a big boxing fan?
To be honest I know next to nothing about boxing. But I watched the first fight, and like most people I think the referee stopped it a bit early. Over the last few days I’ve been watching a lot of the build up to the rematch and I have been totally sucked in. I’m really looking forward to the fight tomorrow night now.
Who’s going to win?
I would like to see Groves win, purely because of what happened in the first fight when his chances were ended prematurely. A few of my friends who know more than me about it say that Froch is the better fighter. It will be fascinating.
Would you have liked to see it live at Wembley?
When the tickets first came out I thought about it, but then we got the snooker calendar and it clashed with the Australia qualifiers. As it turns out I am playing tomorrow afternoon so it would have been possible to go in the evening, but I couldn’t take the chance of buying tickets and then not being able to go. Instead, there is a pub in my village which is showing the fight and pretty much everyone I know, including Michael White, is going there to watch it.
Have you ever tried boxing yourself?
I am into fitness and I know a boxing trainer. One day he got me using skipping ropes and punching a bag. Then the next day I went to practise snooker and I literally couldn’t pick the rest up. That was the end of boxing for me.
What do you think of the way boxers try to psyche each other out before a fight?
It’s very interesting, they always try to build themselves up and make predictions about what’s going to happen. It would be like me going to the World Championship saying I’m going to beat my opponent 10-4 and make three centuries. There’s a lot of psychology involved.
Do you think we need a bit more of that in snooker to create rivalries?
Maybe, but I can’t imagine anyone doing that, expect perhaps someone like Judd Trump. It’s just not the done thing in snooker I suppose.
Finally, back to snooker – what are your targets for this season?
I just want to start well and hit the ground running. After I lost in the World qualifiers I took a couple of weeks off, then got back on the practice table, so I’ve put a lot of work in going into this season. I won my match to qualify for Wuxi and played well so that was a good start. I want to build some confidence and qualify for as many venues as I can. After I got to the quarter-finals at the Crucible a couple of years ago, there were raised expectations and the following two seasons didn’t go as well as I had hoped. I’ve drawn a line under that now.