True Blue

If Chelsea lose to Blackburn on Saturday, spare a thought for whoever has to break the news to George Groves.

The Blues-mad boxer will be pumped up and ready for his fight with Paul Smith when he takes time out to discover whether his team have picked up a much-needed win at Ewood Park.

This is the man who wears Chelsea shorts in the ring and attended their all-important title showdown at Manchester United in April 2009 – hours before winning the Commonwealth super-middleweight title at the city’s MEN Arena.

“A lot of Chelsea signings take time to get going. Once that happens we’ll be back on track.”

He defends that crown at Wembley Arena this weekend, as well as the British title he took from west London rival James DeGale in May to maintain his unbeaten record.

“This time I’ll be away from it all and my mind will just be on the fight, but someone – probably my uncle, who’s a Chelsea fanatic – will keep me updated,” Groves told West London Sport.

“When I went to that United game it was a title decider and obviously such a massive game you had to be involved to some extent.

“That won’t be the case so much this time but I’ll keep a close eye on it and usually get texts telling me how the boys are getting on.”

Born in Shepherd’s Bush and raised in Hammersmith, Groves has supported Chelsea for as long as he can remember.

Groves defends his titles on Saturday

And he fondly remembers his days at the Dale Youth boxing club in Notting Hill, where his rivalry with DeGale was formed and where he was outnumbered by QPR fans – some of whom have been in touch following their team’s recent derby victory.

“I was the only Chelsea fan – the last one standing! I used to get stick week in week out from QPR fans there,” Groves recalled.

“Now, as you can imagine, I’ve got all these old buddies coming out of the woodwork giving me stick for the last week or so. It’s been unbelievable.”

Groves’ long-term ambition is to fight at Stamford Bridge. His immediate concern though is that Chelsea come through their current problems and that Smith is dealt with.

He remains convinced under-pressure manager Andre Villas-Boas will turn things around given time.

“I’m on his side,” he said. “I believe it does take time to build good teams and before long we’ll be up there.

“Money is a massive factor. Chelsea have spent in the past and Man City are doing it this year, but we still have good players and the infastructure.

“But we just need our new players to settle. A lot of Chelsea signings take time to get going. Once that happens we’ll be back on track.

“Roman Abramovich desperately wants to win the Champions League and you never know – Liverpool didn’t have the best season and still won it.

“The main thing though is that we win the league. It’s still possible. Every team has a bad run now and then.”