Groves destroys Smith
Unbeaten prospect George Groves retained his British and Commonwealth super-middleweight titles with a brutal second-round knockout win over Paul Smith at Wembley Arena.
The 23-year-old from nearby Hammersmith was back in action for the first time since beating great rival James DeGale in May and itching to build on such a high-profile victory.
Seasoned campaigner Smith landed the cleanest shot of the first round, rocking Groves with a solid right hand at the end of the opening three minutes.
But Groves exploded in the following round to send him packing. A stinging right sent the Liverpudlian to the canvas and the knockdown signalled the beginning of the end.
Smith bravely struggled back to his feet but Groves scented blood and went in for the kill, flooring Smith again leaving Scottish referee Victor Loughlin with little choice but to wave off the contest.
Despite the emphatic win, Groves once again played down his chances of a world title shot claiming he still was not ready for the elite level. ‘I have cleaned up the domestic level but I'm not ready for world level fights,’ said Groves.
‘I want to chip up that ladder towards world titles but I need to make more improvements. I would like to think I can go all the way to be a great fighter. I plan to get to the top and stay at the top.
‘I'm fortunate enough to be in an exciting division. Super-middleweight has some great fighters, so there are loads of great fights I can have in the future.’
Groves Stops Smith to Defend British and Commonwealth Crowns
George Groves wasted little time in ending the challenge of Paul Smith as the pair met on Saturday night at Wembley Arena.
After a cagey opening round in which no real punches were thrown until the closing seconds, Groves upped the tempo in an instant, catching Smith and sending him to the canvas in the opening minute of the second session.
When the former champion rose to his feet it was clear that he was struggling and one swift combination from Groves was enough for referee Victor Loughlin to call an end to the fight inside the opening minute of the round.
Having seen long-term rival James DeGale deconstruct Liverpudlian Smith over nine rounds a year ago, to win in such devastating fashion will have given the man from Hammersmith no end of pleasure.
Groves may now look to further his case for a world title shot by fighting again before the end of 2011- remaining active will surely give him the best chance of beating DeGale to a global belt.
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