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Written by Ian Wallwork


It took George Groves four minutes to beat twenty-nine year old super middleweight Paul Smith on Saturday November 5th. Groves, twenty-three, is now one of the rising stars of the division and may join Carl Froch in the ranks as a British World super middleweight champion.

Before the fight, Paul Smith had thirty one wins to his record and had just beaten Paul Samuels by a first round knockout. He was expected to be a test for Groves, who has an unbeaten record, and the first round held true to that. Groves didn’t take hold of the opening the way he had planned to, but he soon corrected this and his accuracy had Paul Smith staring at the floor in the second round.

Groves is regarded as the best British talent boxing today and he has the team to prove it. He is trained by Adam Booth, promoted by Frank Warren and he counts former heavyweight world champion David Haye as one of his fans. Speaking after Groves’ knockout win, Haye said:

"I was over the moon, ecstatic. He's starting to do what he does in the gym in the ring.”
The twenty three year old has an amateur record of sixty-six victories in seventy-six fights, winning the Senior ABA championship two years in a row. As a professional he has only fought fourteen times, so he is still inexperienced.  Despite this he has used his limited professional experience well, beating James DeGale, Daniel Adotey Allotey and Kenny Anderson.

The technical skills are there and he has the talent to go on to the world stage. His team is top notch – most British fighters would be envious of an Adam Booth and Frank Warren combination - so Groves will be carefully nurtured. What is next for the Hammersmith born star?

What Next for George Groves?
As soon as Paul Smith hit the canvas, talk started on a George Groves v James DeGale rematch. The pair last met at the O2 arena in May 2011 and Groves won a controversial majority decision. Since then, the media has fostered a rivalry between the two in the same way it did with Nathan Cleverely and Tony Bellew. A rivalry makes news and sells out venues, so it would come as no surprise if we learnt that Groves and DeGales’ promoter Frank Warren had stirred up rumours of a rematch themselves. Groves, however, is not keen on fighting DeGale again. He said: 
“I’ve beaten the European champion James DeGale already and I can’t keep beating him up. I need to fight other people.”
Groves has beaten the fighters he needs to on a domestic level and now must look to the bigger stage. There are fights for him at the European grade, but what about world title matches? Groves has dismissed talk of competing for a world belt just yet. Despite the British media’s habit of talking up their fighters to be several levels above their true ability, he remains level headed: 
"I have cleaned up the domestic level but I'm not ready for world level fights. It's up to me to improve.”
All Groves needs is more experience. His fight record should read 20-0-0 before he goes hunting for a world title fight. A good opponent for him next at his current level would be Polish former EBU Champion Piotr Wilczewski. Let’s see what happens.

More British Action:
British heavyweight Dereck Chisora, who lost to fellow-prospect Tyson Fury in July, is also trying to rise in the boxing rankings. Read about it in 'DereckChisora and Robert Helenius in a Must-Win December Fight'.