Here Comes George Groves

By Ted Sares on March 24, 2013
Here Comes George Groves
Let the Froch-Kessler-Bute-Pascal thing run its course while George gets more experience.

The first time I saw George Groves in the ring was in 2010 when he stopped Charles Adamu to win the Commonwealth super middleweight title…

“Carl’s a great fighter, we sparred together over the years but we’re rivals now. There’s a possibility a fight could happen sooner rather than later.”—George Groves

“I think 2014 or even late 2013 it’s an obvious fight. Froch wants the Ward rematch…but that’s a tough fight and there’s other fights out there…I think Carl would win right now but you don’t know how good George might be. He’s got fast hands, he’s exciting and likes to trade, which is not a good idea against a guy like Carl. We’ll see.”—Promoter Eddie Hearn

The first time I saw George Groves in the ring was in 2010 when he stopped Charles “The Crusader” Adamu (17-4) in the sixth round to win the Commonwealth (British Empire) super middleweight title. Groves was just 8-0 at the time and the beating he gave Charles essentially ended the Ghanaian’s career. Adamu had gone the distance with WBC super middleweight champion Carl Froch., but Groves used heavy hands and fine technique to settle the Crusader’s hash.

More recently, on March 23, 2013, to be exact, George dispatched Syrian fighter Baker Barakat (37-13-4) at the GETEC Arena, in Magdeburg, Germany. George had his way with the overmatched Barakat, crunching him at will until the fight was mercifully halted in the second round. On March 9, Groves perpetrated another early stoppage over limited Argentinian Dario German Balmaceda in Wembley.

George also put a beating on Glen Johnson on December 15, 2012 that hopefully convinced the “Gentleman” to call it quits. The scores in that one were 120-107, 120-107, and 119-109.

The Future

Talk of a fight with Carl Froch or Mikkel Kessler at this point is pure poppycock. Froch and Kessler are at a different level—they have proven themselves as elite fighters. What Groves has to do is earn his way by fighting better opposition, perhaps someone like Adonis Stevenson or South African Thomas Oosthuzen. Get past opponents like these before even thinking about the likes of Froch. Or fight the winner if these two should ever face off. Another possibility is a rematch with Brit rival James “Chunky” DeGale (14-1).

Other names that could pop up are Andre Dirrell (unless he is done for medical reasons) or the improving Edwin Rodriquez, but for me, the DeGale rematch seems a solid choice. The fact that James is an Olympic gold medalist hardly tarnishes his appeal. Moreover, both have a genuine dislike for one another and that adds appeal to a rematch. “Yeah, it’s personal all right…I can’t stand him and its mutual,” says DeGale.  Groves says DeGale is “the most arrogant, egotistical person I’ve ever known—I can’t wait to smash his face in.” As it turned out, Groves beat the flamboyant Chunky by a razor thin MD in May 2011 with the judges scoring the fight 115–115, 115–114, 115–114. Since then DeGale has won four straight over decent opposition

As Eddie Hearn correctly points out, there is no point in pushing Groves into the ring yet with Froch or any other champ. Let the Froch-Kessler-Bute-Pascal thing run its course while George gets more experience. And now that Robert Stieglitz has shocked Arthur Abraham with a TKO win, there is talk of a third fight between the two. If so, the winner might be another option for Groves down the road.

At any rate, George will be fighting on May 25 on the undercard of the Froch vs. Kessler rematch in London. Hopefully, he will fight a better opponent in this one thus moving him closer to the mix at the top, and giving us a new name to talk about in the super middleweight division.

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  1. Tex Hassler 09:19am, 03/25/2013

    There is no sense in moving up to a higher level of opposition until a man is ready to face such opposition. George may not be ready at this point.

  2. Wilbur 03:18am, 03/25/2013

    They sure as heck fire did knock it out of the park, Walt.
    They sure did.

  3. Walt 06:55pm, 03/24/2013

    YOU AND MATT PUT ON A CLINIC. I LEARNED A LOT ABOUT THE SUPER MIDDLEWEIGHT DIVISION. THANKS

  4. the thresher 01:27pm, 03/24/2013

    Also Andrzej Fonfara and the ever-useful Allan Green

  5. the thresher 01:21pm, 03/24/2013

    Matt, If Hearn reads our exchange, he just might have the blueprint for George. Gotta love it!

  6. the thresher 01:19pm, 03/24/2013

    Yeah, he is calling out Stieglitz whom he beat some time ago by stoppage. He needs the payday, but Robert is in charge now.

  7. Matt Mosley 01:16pm, 03/24/2013

    RE: Wilczewski. He also gave Abraham a good fight not long ago too.
    As for Andrade, i have heard very little about him since he lost to Bute.
    Just checking now and i see he got stopped on a cut in his last fight.

  8. THE THRESHER 11:25am, 03/24/2013

    MATT, ANOTHER GUY OUT THERE, THOUGH HE MIGHT BE PRETY SHOT BY NOW IS Librado Andrade

  9. the thresher 11:22am, 03/24/2013

    Hmm, Thanks Pug. I enjoyed it very much. I love a good debate that is open to disagreement and absent personal insults (like on ESB). In this one, there was just about 100% agreement.

  10. pugknows 09:30am, 03/24/2013

    Gosh damm, I’m really enjoying this back and forth between Ted and Matt. It’s like watching Fight Night. These two know their shit.

  11. Matt Mosley 09:21am, 03/24/2013

    Yep, solid fighter.
    I think you could be bang on there.
    Just the sort of pick Eddie Hearn would go for, taking the “he pushed DeGale hard” angle.

  12. the thresher 09:17am, 03/24/2013

    Matt (s), I’ll throw one more names out there and then I’m going to do some power lifting at the gym.

    Piotr Wilczewski

    He lost to DeGale by an MD (razor thin). It would be a good measuring stick for Groves…and a safe one.

    Later Matt

  13. the thresher 09:13am, 03/24/2013

    It also looks like Dirrell might be done as a viable guy in this particular mix. He seems to have never gotten over that Abraham incident. Too bad, because he was (and mayye still is) a very talented fighter who gave Froch fits.

  14. the thresher 09:09am, 03/24/2013

    STEVENSON HAS POWER AND COULD VERY WELL WAX DAWSON WHO HAS BECOME ANOTHER BOXING HEAD CASE.And of course there is always Pascal who, if he beats Bute, jumps right back into the catchweight sweepstakes. .

  15. the thresher 09:04am, 03/24/2013

    Bika is a load for anyone, but Groves would beat him. IMO

  16. the thresher 09:03am, 03/24/2013

    I suspect you are correct

    As for Broner, I am beginning to see some major chinks in his fiber as a human being. He may implode before he gets to a “great” stature. He sure as hell is no Mayweather. The kid lacks guidance and unless someone steps in soon to provide it, he is headed for trouble outside of the ring. His moral boundaries are wanting.

    He is the antithesis of Ward in this respect.

  17. Matt Mosley 09:03am, 03/24/2013

    RE: Stevenson. Someone said on BLH that Boxrec has him down to face Chad Dawson next?

  18. Matt Mosley 09:02am, 03/24/2013

    Ted - You mentioned Bika. I was gonna suggest him as a Groves opponent but he just won that WBC eliminator so maybe he’ll be only concentrating on that??

  19. Matt Mosley 08:50am, 03/24/2013

    Agreed, other than that i still have Ward clearly out in front on his own.
    Froch-Kessler will likely be another great fight between two top 168ers (although MK’s recent level of opposition has been nowhere near Froch’s - could that be a factor?), but it’s still between the no.2 and 3 in the division.
    I still think if either fights Ward in a rematch, Ward once again puts a clinic on.
    He’s gonna be duking it out with Broner and Donaire for P4P no.1 over the next 5 to 10 years, imo.
    Out of them three i think Ward will have the best career, unless he retires early.
    Froch and Kessler are very good but Ward is headed for greatness, IMO!

  20. the thresher 08:34am, 03/24/2013

    It’s getting so you have Ward, Kessler, Froch as the elites. Then Bute as an unknown at this point. And then all the rest looking to position themselves. Stieglitz won’t become a member. He has had his 15 minutes. Abraham is done.

    Bika and Stevenson are are out there.

    It’s starting to get cozy.

  21. the thresher 08:30am, 03/24/2013

    Correct on all points

  22. Matt Mosley 08:29am, 03/24/2013

    Yeah, that Grachev would be a solid opponent, maybe a bit too solid for Groves’ people at the moment?
    I see he’s lined up to face Zsolt Erdei next weekend too.
    I think the shot Bute caught Magee with was a great one though, one of them uppercuts.
    Kessler’s didn’t look anything like as devastating, imo.
    Like i said a bodyshot is rarely thrown straight when it is a KO shot, imo.

  23. the thresher 08:23am, 03/24/2013

    Edwin would be a great choice but I don’t think he would take the fight. He is at about the same point in development as George. I have seen Edwin fight on a number of occasions in the Boston area and he is improving rapidly under Ronnie Shields.

    The risk-reward for both is not a good one. I also though about Brian. Wasn’t he the guy who also got waxed by a Bute body shot? Also, that Russian who Bute just beat could be a possibility. Grachev—spelling-?

  24. Matt Mosley 08:17am, 03/24/2013

    As you alluded to, i think Oosthuizen could be a very good opponent for the Froch undercard.
    Maybe Edwin Rodriguez.
    Instead, we’ll probably get Brain Magee :), which i suppose wouldn’t be too bad.
    BTW, i couldn’t help thinking Magee was not in shape/soft around the midsection for that Kessler fight.
    The thing that struck me the most was; when do you ever see someone KO’d from a straight shot to the body? Usually it’s a hook or uppercut.
    The shots that dropped him just didn’t look all that hard to me, but then i wasn’t the one taking them.  :)
    I do think Brian is close to done though.

  25. the thresher 08:06am, 03/24/2013

    DeGale may be another head case. He lets his emotion get in the way.

    Groves is very clever and I think would outbox Chunky.

    But since George will be on the BIG STAGE in his next fight, his opponent must be a non-Wilder type capable of fighting..

    It’s time for a Brit to get into the Super Middleweight mix.

  26. Matt Mosley 08:01am, 03/24/2013

    Personally i would rather they wait on Groves-Degale II, until one of them manages to pick a belt up.
    Not entirely sure DeGale is good enough to get to that level yet though, unless he can pick a paper title up somehow.
    I think Groves is much more likely to get to that level first.
    DeGale hasn’t impressed me much in his last few fights, though i did used to think the talent was there.
    He seems to fight with no real strategy or gameplan lately, IMO.

  27. the thresher 08:00am, 03/24/2013

    Matt Mosley, I agree with that anaylsis.

  28. Matt Mosley 07:57am, 03/24/2013

    I would be happy with DeGale, Steiglitz or the South African guy next for Groves, but i think he goes with a slightly easier opponent on the Froch-Kessler undercard in May, and then headlines his own show in September.
    That’s what they are saying anyway.
    Re: Steiglitz. Don’t forget that Groves was lined up to fight him last year, Ted, but had to pull out with an injury, so it’s not like he’s not on Steiglitz’ radar.
    I reckon it’s more likely we see Steiglitz-Abraham III next though.

  29. the thresher 07:47am, 03/24/2013

    I think Froch would use his sterntgh to walk right through him. And now that Abraham has lost, the options become real intreguing.

    Of all the figfhts out there for George, I think that South African would be a good one next, and then move up and fighht Stiglietz.

  30. Matt McGrain 05:47am, 03/24/2013

    Yeah…I don’t like to think about what Froch would do to George’s youthful visage at this time…

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