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George Groves easily outpoints Eduard Gutknecht

Groves flanked by trainer Shane McGuigan (left) and promoter Kalle Sauerland. Photo: Sauerland Promotions/ Paul Currie

British super middleweight contender George Groves continued his march towards a fourth world title shot by posting a comfortable 12-round unanimous decision over the capable Eduard Gutknecht at the Wembley Arena in London on Friday. The official scores were 119-109 twice and 119-110.

Groves, who is rated No. 4 by THE RING at 168 pounds, became more and more dominant as the fight progressed. There were no knockdowns but Gutknecht absorbed plenty of punishment, particularly in the second half of the contest, when the Germany-based Kazakhstani was forced into survival mode.

“I’m very happy with the way I fought,” said Groves when interviewed by Channel 5 in the U.K. “We knew (Gutknecht) was fit, and that he had great powers of recovery but I set a great tempo and got into my rhythm. I bust him up pretty bad and I’m surprised he made it to the final bell.”

Groves found the range with his left jab and back hand very early. The visitor, a well-schooled amateur who defeated Gennady Golovkin in the unpaid ranks in 2005, initially used his own left hand to good effect but, for the most part, he was outpunched by Groves who continually kept him honest.

Gutknecht did find some success by applying pressure whenever Groves drifted to the ropes but two strong right hands put the visitor back in his place in the fourth.

As the bout progressed, Groves began to pull away. He made good use of his counterpunching skills and continued to add layers to his own assaults. The right hand landed frequently and sneaky uppercuts snapped Gutknecht’s head back on the inside. Whenever the action did slow, Gutknecht found himself on the end of a rapier left jab.

The ninth was Groves best round. He battered home combinations, opened up a nasty cut around his opponent’s right eye and landed almost everything he threw. Gutknecht bravely absorbed the incoming but he was drained of ambition and backed off with his gloves glued to his head for the remainder of the contest.

The 28-year old Groves (25-3 18 KOs) suffered a brace of world title fight defeats to countryman Carl Froch in 2013 and 2014. He did come very close to fulfilling his potential the following year, however WBC titleholder Badou Jack pipped the Londoner to a 12-round split decision in Las Vegas.

Shane McGuigan was drafted in as coach following the Jack defeat and there has been progress. Groves has now scored four straight victories, including two knockouts, and appeared to have regained top form in a 12-round decision victory over Martin Murray in June. Tonight was further affirmation of his improvement.

“I just want a world title fight,” Groves said. “I genuinely believe that I’ll give any of (the champions) a fight. Truth be told, I think I’ll beat them all. Ideally, I’d love a rematch with Badou Jack but he’s fighting my old pal James De Gale (IBF titleholder). I’d love that fight too.

“If I can pick up the vacant WBA title in a fight with Fedor Chudinov, then that would be ideal. That would set up some huge nights on the super middleweight scene.”

Tom Gray is a UK Correspondent/ Editor for RingTV.com and a member of THE RING ratings panel. Follow him on Twitter: @Tom_Gray_Boxing

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