Groves silences Smith with second round stoppage

5 Nov

Alan Dawson – London

Britain’s young boxer of the year George Groves twice dropped Paul Smith en route to a second round technical knockout win at the Wembley Arena, London on Saturday, November 5. It was a scintillating performance from Groves, who did to Smith what no other fighter – not even James DeGale – had done… put him on the floor and take him out the contest with one punch power.

Direct link to article.

Dawson’s scorecard

Round 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Smith 9 7


Groves
10 10

Judges verdict: N/a.

It was perhaps not trash that challenger Paul Smith was talking pre-fight, more like stiff criticism of what he deemed to be an over-rated Groves. Walking into his opponent’s home turf, he was greeted with boos as he had the chance to put the words to the side and find out with his fists whether his appraisal of Groves was correct. Saint George, meanwhile, received a strong support and, during the official introductions, engaged in a staring contest with his opposite number.

Groves had an obvious height advantage standing over Smith… he kept a wide, orthodox stance and was predominantly a jabber during round one. Groves was also feinting, both with his shoulders and also his left foot, in an attempt to goad Smith into throwing shots that he could counter. Smith’s jab was rendered void as Groves was able to catch them in his right mitt and the Liverpudlian’s follow-up power punches were avoided thanks to upper body movement. Smith had his best moment at the closing moments of the round when he threw an accumulation of heavy shots finished with a right hand over the top that caught Groves flush on the target.

During fight week, Smith stated Groves’ power was over-rated but the challenger succumbed to two knockdowns and then a technical knockout defeat in just the second round as Groves secured a stunning victory due to a half-jab that set up a jaw-bound, leg-weakening right hook. It was a back-patting performance from Groves who celebrated with Hayemaker friend David Haye and long-time trainer Adam Booth in what was the first defence of his British and Commonwealth super middleweight championship titles.

“I’m happy,” said Groves to Box Nation after the win. “I came out and the gameplan was to control Smith and I knew he wouldn’t be able to box with me long.

“When the opportunities came, I hit him with the right hands and the hook… I threw the shot and it was over. My defences weren’t quite sharp enough at the end of round one but I was controlling the fight early on and I knew when the big shots landed he wouldn’t last the distance. I’m surprised he got up from the right hook but he was wobbly on the feet so I knew he was eventually going to go.”

Regarding his ambitions, Groves said he would continue to defend his British and Commonwealth belts but would welcome any sort of fight before the year’s end: “I’m happy to stay at domestic level but if I’m getting rid of these guys this quick then I may have to bash up James DeGale again but he’s still not on my immediate radar. I want to be out again before Christmas, I think that’s realistic. It doesn’t have to be a title fight, I just want to be busy.”

Groves’ coach Adam Booth said: “In the first round, he did his thing. Don’t forget, this is his 14th fight. If you look at world champions, Groves is still a baby. Paul was unfortunate, he just got caught with a shot. I thought it would last longer. You will see Groves develop as a world class fighter.”

Haye added: “I’ve sparred with him, I know he can punch hard! He just put his gym performances in the ring. Paul Smith is durable but it took one clean shot. He could have done that in 12 rounds. He’s on the right schedule. In my 15th title I won the European title and Groves is ready for that. In the next six or seven fights I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s challenging for a world title.”

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3 Responses to “Groves silences Smith with second round stoppage”

  1. Bill hates Chelsea November 6, 2011 at 12:30 am #

    DeGale who? mate, Groves just merks degale for fun

  2. Magneto November 6, 2011 at 12:36 am #

    Serves Smith Right For Giving It So Much Noise Before The Fight!

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  1. DeGale boxes Guerrero in December, EBU mandatory against Sanavia due for February « On The Beak - November 17, 2011

    […] Related article: Groves silences Smith with second round stoppage […]

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