Unbeaten English super middleweight George Groves insists he has swapped Frank Warren for Eddie Hearn as his promoter to secure a title shot sooner rather than later – and even a possible showdown with IBF beltholder and countryman Carl Froch.
The 24-year-old contender from Hammersmith, west London, confirmed on Monday that he has signed for Hearn’s Matchroom Sport, who also promote Froch, after pulling out of a scheduled European title fight on March 16 and calling time on his association with Hearn’s rival promoter Warren.
To showcase the switch, Groves (16-0-12 knockouts), trained and managed by Adam Booth, will now be in action this Saturday at Wembley Arena, in a non-title bout against Argentine Dario German Balmaceda (11-6-2, 7 KOs).
But it is the mid-to-long term picture which Groves is really focussing on. He seems certain to fight on the undercard of Froch’s May 25 blockbuster rematch with Mikkel Kessler at the Docklands’ O2 Arena. Then there is the chance to go after the WBO belt, currently held by Arthur Abraham, who meets Robert Stieglitz for a second time on March 23.
And while it may be jumping the gun given what will need to unravel first, Groves is definitely targeting a dream match-up against 35-year-old Froch.
“I’m ranked number one with the WBO so I’ll be keeping a keen eye on that fight (Abraham-Stielglitz),” said Groves, THE RING’s No.7-rated super middleweight. “But I’ll have just as close an eye on the Froch v Kessler fight as I really believe I could get a crack at the winner – and Eddie knows I want that fight.”
Commonwealth beltholder Groves admits his relative inactivity since defeating bitter rival James DeGale in May of 2011 has been frustrating and that he is delighted to be back in the ring this weekend on a bill featuring Darren Barker versus Simone Rotolo for the IBF intercontinental middleweight title.
“It’s great to be boxing in London and Wembley is a great arena. I’m really excited about getting in there on Saturday,” he said. “I’ve had three fights in 18 months which is not ideal, so it will be great for me to get out regularly.
“I’m healthy, I’m training hard and Eddie has promised to keep me busy. Everything is looking good and I’m raring to get back into action.”