George Groves believes Martin Murray is a fighter in decline as a consequence of his defeat by Gennady Golovkin.
But the St Helens fighter thinks his opponent has stamina issues as the countdown begins to their much anticipated showdown.
The two are to fight on June 25 at London’s 02 Arena on the undercard of Anthony Joshua’s IBF heavyweight title defence against America’s Dominic Breazeale.
It will be Murray’s second fight since his defeat by WBO super-middleweight champion Arthur Abraham, and sixth since being stopped by the devastating middleweight Golovkin.
Groves has appeared rejuvenated by joining new trainer Shane McGuigan having also lost at world level, but asked of his opponent, he said: “He was soundly beaten from the get-go (against Golovkin).
“Because he’s an intelligent fighter, and certainly a tough man as well, he took a lot of punishment in that fight. Personally, I haven’t seen that star quality that he had in that fight, since that fight.
“We’ve both fallen short at world-title level. A bit of misfortune, a little bit unlucky at times (but) we’ve both (also) been soundly beaten.
“But the two differences being, when I lost I felt against (Carl) Froch the second time, I was gaining momentum in the fight, and it was a one-punch knockout. It’s not nice, but at the same time, Martin’s (was a) clinical loss against Golovkin.”
Groves is considered to have advantages in size and weight, but his explosiveness has often undermined his stamina in the second half of fights when he has appeared vulnerable.
“Work-rate’s the key,” said Murray.
“He is the genuine super-middleweight, I’m moving up (in weight). George Groves is dangerous early (but) he’s got stamina issues, he fades late.”
Dillian Whyte is also scheduled to fight on June 25, for the first time since December’s defeat by Joshua and having signed a “multi-fight deal” with promoters Matchroom.