George Groves has defended training partner David Haye after his points defeat to Wladimir Klitschko on Saturday night.
Haye has been the target of criticism after being on the wrong end of a lopsided unanimous decision in the heavyweight showdown at the Imtech Arena in Hamburg.
After being ultra-confident during the build up to the bout, the Brit fell flat on fight night as the Ukrainian dictated terms behind his jab for much of the 12 rounds.
But Groves think that Haye should be given credit for putting up such a good fight against Klitschko, who has now added the WBA title to his IBF and WBO belts.
"I thought David Haye performed very well during the fight, he was really up against it with Wladimir Klitschko," the British and Commonwealth super-middleweight champion said.
"Although he made bold claims before the fight, he really got everyone excited. It was a brilliant fight, it was the best Wladimir Klitschko's boxed in a long, long time."
Haye revealed after the fight that he went into the ring with a broken toe but Groves does not think that the he was offering the injury up as an excuse.
Groves added: "You hope that you are 100 per cent when you go into a fight, but a lot of the time you're not. David's been in so many fights where he hasn't been 100 per cent, this time he had an injury to his toe.
"You do need all your toes, if you're springing back and forth in the ring trying to generate real power, you need everything working.
"So it could be a factor but I don't think David's using it as an excuse - he's frustrated at this moment in time."
Groves also defended the tactics of Adam Booth, who trains both himself and Haye, saying that strategy is often rendered ineffective by the sheer size of Klitschko.
"There's limited tactics you can have against a six-foot-seven, 17-and-a-half stone heavyweight who's that effective at what he does," he said.
"You can't stand there and box with Wladimir, he's too big and he's too long."