Four months ago, Wade Groth was a contender.
Since then, he’s captured an “interim” championship and been elevated to full South African champion; not a bad return for a workaday pro who has boxed just seven times.
He says his status as middleweight king makes little difference. He’s not a flashy guy and he doesn’t demand attention. The 30-year-old is just happy doing what he loves.
In just over a fortnight, he faces potentially his toughest test when he goes in against the vastly more experienced Walter Dlamini, who has had 25 bouts.
“Dunno much,” he says matter-of-factly. “He’s a veteran, likes to come forward . . .”
Groth has made no specific plans, instead sticking with the grim regime of heavy daily training. He’s mixed up the sparring between big and fast and quick fighters and put in the general work that will ensure he is prepared come December 8 at Emperors Palace.
He’ll be sharing a bill with old MMA rival Boyd Allen and will no doubt have half an eye on the fight, not least because there’s been some talk of a showdown between the two down the track.
Groth praised Allen for doing “very well” in his recent pro debut but hasn’t given much thought to fighting him. “We’re different weights anyway,” he says of the junior-middleweight.
For now, his ambitions are to keep on climbing the ladder and cracking an international ranking. Aged 30, he can hardly afford a stumble against Dlamini.
He’ll be ready.