George Groves Calls Time On His Colourful Career

This week George Groves announced his retirement from boxing at the age of 30. He’s definitely a fighter that divides opinion, so in this post I will be looking at his career to see what he will be remembered for.

He had a very successful amateur career which included two ABA titles, and culminated in him winning a silver medal in the Commonwealth games in 2007.

He made his professional debut on 15th November 2008 against Kiril Psonko a fight he won on points over 6 rounds. He then went on a 8 fight winning streak scoring 5 knockouts along the way.

In just his 9th fight he got the chance to fight for his first major title when on the 3rd April 2010 on the undercard of Haye V Ruiz for the world title. He took on Charles Adamu for the Commonwealth title. From the opening bell Groves dominated this fight dropping Adamu in the opening round. He continued the onslaught putting Adamu on the canvas twice in the 4th. Until the referee finally stopped the fight with Adamu on his feet but taking a lot of punishment in the 6th round.

In his next fight on 31st July 2010 he went across the pond to Las Vegas to take on Alfredo Contreras a fight he won with a 6th round knockout victory. After a successful American debut he returned to the UK to defend his Commonwealth title when on 13th November 2010 he took on Kenny Anderson a fight that many people thought Groves would win easily given the fact that Anderson took the fight at two weeks’ notice. However the night very nearly became a nightmare as Groves hit the canvas in the 3rd round, he showed a true fighters heart to fight his way back to score a 6th round stoppage.

Then came the fight that all British boxing fans wanted to see after years of bad blood going back to their amateur days George Groves and James DeGale finally got it on in a professional ring. This fight is still one of the best fights I’ve ever seen as it went one way then the other. It was 12 hard fought rounds with every round difficult to score, at the final bell most people scored the fight by 1 or 2 rounds to DeGale. However the judges saw it differently scoring the fight 115-115,114-115 Groves and 114-115 Groves. Due to the fact that Groves only won the fight by one point it was thought that a rematch would be inevitable but for one reason or another it never happened and now it never will.

He went on to continue to defend his title against the likes of Paul Smith and Glen Johnson. On 25th May 2013 he took one step closer to a shot a the world title when he took on Noe Gonzalez Alcoba for the WBA Intercontinental title on the undercard of Froch V Kessler 2. Groves made a bright start and in the 5th round he landed a clean right hand which sent Alcoba to the canvas he made it back to his feet at the count of five, but the referee stopped the fight as the towel came in from Alcoba’s corner.

Then came his big chance on 23rd November 2013 he took on Carl Froch for the IBF and WBA titles, after months of build up the pair finally let their fists do the talking in front of a sold out Manchester Arena in a fight that was billed as The Battle Of Britain. Groves made the perfect start sending Froch to the canvas in the opening round and when that happened you could hear a pin drop in the arena. Froch battle back but still the better quality work was coming from Groves, then in the 9th round Froch landed a good combination and referee Howard Foster suddenly jumped in and stopped the fight. This result caused a massive amount of controversy especially when you consider that at the time of the stoppage Groves was up on all 3 cards 73-78, 75-76 and 75-76.

Due to the controversy surrounding their first fight the rematch had to happen so on the 31st April 2014 in front of 80000 fans at Wembley Stadium which at the time was a post war record for the highest attended boxing event in Britain the pair went to war again. Although Froch fought a better fight this time around for large parts of the fight the better work was coming from Groves. Until the 8th round when Froch left the result in no doubt as he landed the perfect right hand which wiped Groves out and the referee didn’t even bother with the count.

After those two back to back defeats people where beginning to ask have we seen the best of George Groves, but he continued to box on. On 20th September 2014 he got back in the ring to take on Christopher Rebrasse for the European and WBC Sliver titles. For 12 rounds Groves looked back to somewhere near his best as he out boxed Rebrasse for the whole fight going on to win a unanimous decision 110-118,110-118 and 111-117.

He went on to make two successful defences before once again he fought his way into a world title shot. On the 12th September 2015 he travel back to Las Vegas to take on Badou Jack for the WBC title. The fight started badly for Groves as he was knocked down in the opening round. However he was able to recover and turn the fight into a very close one that could have gone either way despite his best efforts Jack won a split decision 115-112 Jack, 116-111 Jack and 113-114 Groves.

One fight after losing to Badou Jack he put himself back into the title mix as he took on David Brophy for the WBA International title, a fight he won with a 4th round knockout. He then went on to defend his title in a all British fight against Martin Murray a fight he won with a unanimous decision 110-118 on all 3 cards. He then made another title defence against Eduard Gutknecht a fight he won with a wide unanimous decision 119-110,119-109 and 119-109.

On the 27th May 2017 he got another shot at the world title when he stepped in the ring with Fedor Chudinov, and many people believed that it was now or never for Groves. In the 3rd round Groves had his jaw broken, but he continued to box well. In the 6th round Groves continued to land some huge shots, with nothing coming back from Chudinov giving the referee no choice but to stop the fight. So finally at the 4th time of asking he became a world champion.

After winning the world title he decided to enter the World Boxing Super Series. On 14th October 2017 he took on Jamie Cox in the quarter finals. He out boxed Cox from the opening bell until the 4th round when he landed a well placed body shot to end the fight. Which meant the he would take on Chris Eubank Jr in the semi final.

On the 17th February 2018 George Groves and Chris Eubank when to war to see who would face Callum Smith in the final. Groves was able to control large parts of the fight behind his jab following it up with good counter shots. Eubank suffered a bad cut on his eye and blood flowed throughout the fight, in the final round Groves dislocated his shoulder but he was able to make it to the final bell to win the fight by unanimous decision 117-112, 116-112 and 115-113.

Despite making it to the final it was thrown into doubt as nobody knew if he would be fully recovered to compete in the final. However on the 28th October 2018 he stepped in the ring with Callum Smith in the final of the World Boxing Super Series. From the opening bell Smith made a fast start beating Groves to the punch and Groves was starting to look a bit shot warn. As the fight went on the more control Smith took and in the 7th round Smith scored the knockout. In his post fight interview he didn’t rule out retirement as he admitted he didn’t know were he was going to go from here.

On Monday this week the 28th January he made his decision by releasing this statement on social media:

George Groves,retirement

He ends he’s career with an impressive record of 28-4 with 20 knockouts.

I started this post by asking what will George Groves be remembered for I think he will be remembered as one of boxing’s characters who didn’t give up until he reached his goal. As always I love to hear what you guys think has George Groves made the right decision?

Who Will Anthony Joshua Next Opponent Be?

With an announcement expected by promoter Eddie Hearn this week about Anthony Joshua’s next opponent everybody what’s to know who it’s going to be, so in this post I’ll be looking at the top contenders.

The 13th April has been in every boxing fans diary for a while and rumours have been running riot about his next opponent ever since he knocked out Alexander Povetkin back in September last year. With the fight less than 3 months away I think we all know who’s on the short list, with the likes of Deontay Wilder, Tyson Fury, Dillian Whyte and Jarrell Miller all been mentioned. There’s no question that any of those fighters would make a great fight with Anthony Joshua but who’s it going to be.

I think at the top of all boxing fans wish lists is a fight between Joshua and Wilder for the undisputed world championship. I have to admit I am one of them, however at least for this fight I think a fight with Wilder is unlikely for one main reason the WBC has ordered a rematch between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury, so if Wilder takes the fight with Joshua he runs the risk of been stripped of the world title.

After that stunning fight with Deontay Wilder Tyson Fury has put himself right back into the world title picture. Unfortunately this fight also looks unlikely as the two teams could not come to an agreement, as Tyson Fury wanted a 50-50 purse split and the best Eddie Hearn offered was a 60-40 split in Joshua’s favour. The irony is that he is taking a 60-40 split in Wilder’s favour to make their rematch happen.

In 2015 Dillian Whyte took on Anthony Joshua in a spectacular fight, since that fight both men have only improved as fighters. After Whyte’s last fight Joshua publicly offered him the rematch if he couldn’t get Wilder, but once again it seems despite the fact that both men are promoted by Eddie Hearn it seems like they can not come to an agreement. So much so that it has been reported that Whyte has begun negotiations with Dominic Breazeale. However Whyte has another problem he is currently a free agent as he has not renewed his contract with Matchroom and it is looking increasingly unlikely that he will. Instead it looks like he’s going to sign with Frank Warren or Showtime boxing and if that happens the fight may be harder to make

Jarrell Miller is also on most people short list as he has been calling out Joshua on social media for a while, and to be honest I think Joshua wants to shut him up. However according to some reports Miller won’t be ready for the April date, a number of reports are suggesting that the pair could meet in June at Madison Square Garden in New York. If those reports are true will that put the April date in jeopardy. Due to the fact it is unlikely that Joshua is going to be ready to fight again in June if he fights in April.

I know this is one of those blog post that has more questions than answers, but until the announcement is made it’s all speculation. With that in mind I love to hear what you think comment below and let me know who you would like to see Anthony Joshua fight next.

No Wembley Comeback for Wladimir Klitschko

At the start of this week rumours were rampant in the boxing press, and on social media that former heavyweight king Wladimir Klitschko was coming back to the ring in, April at Wembley could this be true?

It was widely reported that the former unified world heavyweight champion would be coming out of retirement. After two years away from the ring to take on Dillian Whyte on the undercard of Anthony Joshua’s bill on the 13th April.

However on Tuesday Klitschko broke his silence posting this on Twitter:
Wladimir Klitschko, comeback

I’m sure every boxing fan remembers that epic fight between Joshua and Klitschko in front of a sold out Wembley Stadium. That ended with Joshua scoring that stunning knockout in the 11th round.Wladimir KlitschkoAfter been knocked down in the 6th round

Wladimir Klitschko

Wladimir Klitschko

Their fight was that good that negotiations began for a rematch between the two, however on the eve of when the fight was expected to be announced Klitschko shocked the world by calling time on his illustrious boxing career. Which meant that Joshua took on Carlos Takam after his mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev pulled out through injury.

I have to be honest I’m glad that Wladimir Klitschko has ruled out any form of comeback, because he’s got nothing left to prove and I think any form of comeback would have damaged his legacy.

As always I love to hear what you guys think please comment below and let me know your thoughts

Top 10 Best Fights Of 2018

With January in full swing I thought I’d take a look back at last year to see what the best fights of 2018 were. So here is my top 10.

10. Jason Welborn V Tommy Langford 8th September 2018

A lot a people have questioned whether or not the British title is still important. If you are one of these people you have to watch this fight. This was 12 hard fought rounds filled with action and knockdowns, before Jason Welborn won a split decision. This is a fight that I would love to see again somewhere down the line.

9. David Haye V Tony Bellew The Rematch 5th May 2018

This fight was made because of the controversy surrounding their first fight back in 2017, with many people believing that the only reason Tony Bellew won their first fight was due to David Hayes Achilles injury. In the rematch Tony Bellew left the result in no doubt, as from the opening bell Bellew out thought and out fought Haye dropping Haye in the 3rd and 5th rounds giving referee Howard Foster no choice but to stop the fight.

8. Dereck Chisora V Carlos Takam 28th July 2018

This fight was a must win fight for both men if they wanted to keep any hope of getting another shot at a world title alive, and the fight didn’t disappoint. This fight was fought at a very high pace with the fight going one way then the other. By about round 6 Chisora started to take control before he landed a perfect shot in the 8th which wiped Takam out.

7. Dillian Whyte V Joseph Parker 28th July 2018

This fight made my list because Dillian Whyte showed the world that he belongs at world level. Throughout the fight Whyte had the better of the exchanges. So much so that he was able to do something that not even Anthony Joshua could which is put Parker on the canvas. You could see what this fight meant to both men especially in the final round when Parker was giving everything to get the knockout and Whyte was just holding on until the bell. After a great fight Whyte won a unanimous decision. After this big win many people thought that he would get a shot at the world title however as we start 2019 he is still waiting for his shot.

6. George Groves V Callum Smith 28th September 2018

This fight just goes to show how good British boxing is at the moment as this fight was not only for the world title it was also the final of The World Boxing Super Series. At the start of the fight Groves was having the better of it. However as they went into the second half of the fight Smith started to stamp his authority on the fight, and there was nothing Groves could do about it. Then in the 7th round Smith sent Groves to the canvas and that was the end of the fight.

5. Rocky Fielding V Tyron Zeuge 14th July 2018

In any sport we all love a good upset and in this fight that’s exactly what we got Rocky went to Germany as a big underdog and many people didn’t even give him a chance. However from the opening bell he got straight down to work landing big shots until he scored a stunning knockout in the 5th round, in the performance of his career.

4. Dillian Whyte V Dereck Chisora The Rematch 22nd December 2018

It is very rare in boxing to get a rematch that is as good or better than the first fight but that is exactly what we got with this one. From the opening bell both men just picked up where they left off. At the start of the fight Chisora was having the better of the fight. However as the fight went on Whyte started to take control, then out of nowhere Whyte landed a stunning shot which laid Chisora out.

3. Josh Warrington V Carl Frampton 22nd December 2018

This was a great fight despite the fact that Warrington was the defending champion he went into the fight as a huge underdog. As many people believed that Warrington couldn’t handle the punching power of Frampton. However from the opening bell Warrington got straight down to work beating Frampton to the punch, rocking him a number of times. This continued throughout the fight before Warrington won a unanimous decision.

2. Gennady Golovkin V Canelo Alvarez The Rematch 15th September 2018

After the controversial draw in their first fight these two Middleweight warriors went to war again. Just like the first fight the better work came from Alvarez, although it was a close fight throughout Golovkin was starting to look old. After another hard 12 rounds Alvarez won a split decision, there first two fights were that good that there are a number of rumours going around that we will see the 3rd fight at some point in 2019.

1. Deontay Wilder V Tyson Fury 1st December 2018

I have to admit when this fight was made I thought it was just a keep warm fight for Wilder before he finally gets in the ring with Anthony Joshua. Oh how wrong I was, it was seen as the boxer against the puncher. That’s exactly what we got Fury out boxed Wilder for large parts of the fight and despite the two knockdowns, I still had Fury clearly winning the fight. This is another fight that I’m sure we will see again in 2019.

So there you are that’s my best fights of 2018, please comment below and let me know what would make your list.

Wilder V Fury Was A Drew The Right Result

After months of build up and more than a little bad blood Wilder V Fury finally happened but was a draw the right result.

On Saturday night Wilder and Fury finally stopped talking and started fighting, this much anticipated fight definitely lived up to the hype. It was billed as the boxer against the puncher and that’s exactly what we saw as from the opening bell Fury was working well off the jab and he was moving well round the ring. For at least the first two rounds Wilder couldn’t land a meaningful shot on Fury. As the fight went on Wilder did have some success but throughout the fight the better quality work came from Fury as he was boxing his way in of course it wouldn’t be a Tyson Fury fight without some showboating and we saw plenty of that. In contrast Deontay Wilder was just looking for that one big knockout shot and when he couldn’t land it he didn’t seem to have a plan B.

Things seemed to be turning around in the 8th round when Wilder sent Fury to the canvas, but he got back up and came back well the next round. Then in the final round the fight looked over as Fury went down hard and he was flat on his back, but he got up like a man possessed to beat the count and make it to the bell.

So to the judges we went and this is where the controversy started as they scored the fight 115-111 (Wilder), 112-114 (Fury) and 113-113. Two of the three cards I can understand but were did Alejandro Rochin get his score of 115-111 from was he watching the same fight as the rest of us because he’s card was a disgrace. Even Phil Edwards score of 113-113 was harsh but I can see how he got there, here’s how I scored the fight:

Wilder V Fury

 

As you can see I clearly had Fury winning the fight and to be honest I could have scored it wider to Tyson Fury, I know in the past I’ve made no secret of the fact I don’t like Fury but on Saturday he out boxed and out fought Wilder.

I started this post by asking was a draw the right result and I think we can clearly see it wasn’t, but I have a bigger question for you were does the Heavyweight devision go from here? In the ring after the fight Deontay Wilder said he would be happy to give Tyson Fury a rematch but then in his press conference he said he wants to fight Joshua for the undisputed title. I know that’s the fight that a lot of fight fans want to see but if he fights like he did on Saturday against Joshua he’s going to lose.

Here’s what I think should happen Wilder should be ordered to give Fury a rematch because a draw doesn’t do ether man any good where as a rematch would answer any questions leftover from Saturday night. Then in April Anthony Joshua should fight Dillian Whyte in a Battle of Britain providing that he comes through his rematch with Dereck Chisora on the 22nd December.

Please comment below and let me know your thoughts was a draw the right result and what should happen next?