Tuesday, March 20, 2018  |


George Groves captures title in 6th-round TKO of Fedor Chudinov

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

SHEFFIELD, England – It’s been a long and arduous journey but “The Saint” finally came good.

Amid a frenzied atmosphere, George Groves put three failed world title attempts behind him to claim the vacant WBA super middleweight strap with a sixth-round stoppage of Russia’s Fedor Chudinov at Bramall Lane soccer stadium on Saturday.

Groves, who is rated No. 3 by THE RING at 168 pounds, broke through in the sixth with a damaging right hand that stunned the visitor. Sensing the moment, the Englishman continued to release his back hand to head and body before opening-up with a sustained, and blistering, two-fisted assault. Chudinov wasn’t throwing back when referee Steve Gray stepped in. The official time was 1:14.

“It’s a lifetime’s work achieved,” said an ecstatic Groves in his post-fight interview. “(Trainer) Shane McGuigan had resurrected my career and I feel as though I’m the best in the division now. I wasn’t going to let this belt slip away.”

It was far from easy, though.

Chudinov claimed ring center in the opening seconds of Round 1 and set a fast pace. Groves circled hesitantly, flashed out a jab and seemed genuinely surprised by the visitor’s aggression. That pattern was maintained in the early rounds and although Chudinov wasn’t landing cleanly, he was making a physical impression.

Photo / @SkySportsBoxing

Groves’ timing appeared off but he began landing some excellent counters in the fourth. Chudinov continued to bull his way forward but he was being caught often and struggled to find the target himself. Unfortunately for Groves his success was marred by a cut to the side of his left eye, which was the result of a clash of heads.

The risk Chudinov was taking by applying so much pressure was that he could walk on to something big. His head was relatively stationary throughout and Groves timed him perfectly in the sixth to set up the finish.

The relief was visceral from the home fighter. Groves (26-3, 19 knockouts) was stopped twice by countryman Carl Froch in a brace of world title bouts in 2013 and 2014. The following year, he was defeated by then-WBC beltholder Badou Jack in Las Vegas. The Londoner has overcome plenty of adversity and finally has his moment in the sun.

Former foe Froch rose from his commentary position to give his countryman a round of applause.

Groves, unquestionably talented, also brings excitement and punch power to the ring and there are some top matchups to be made at 168 pounds. Old rival James DeGale, whom Groves defeated in May 2011, is the reigning IBF titleholder and a unification fight between the pair is a natural.

A bout against WBO beltholder Gilberto Ramirez, or the winner of the WBC title fight between Callum Smith and Anthony Dirrell, who collide in Los Angeles on Sept. 9, are also intriguing possibilities.



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

  • Ten Count Toronto

    Great scrap. Almost a condensed version of JM Marquez-Diaz.

    Gorves seemed to have no legs or power early on. He was getting steamrolled the first 3 rounds even though he was actually outlanding Chudinov with much more precise counters. But at around 1:45 of the fourth he ‘found” some bower with a big right hand that changed the temperature, and the power returned again in the 6th. I still don’t think Groves was really right physically but he got the job done.

    Chudinov showed great heart & determination. Maybe if he had the size advantage Sor Rungvisai had against Chocolatito he might have gone the distance and made it close enough to steal a decision.

    • Orca

      Agree with all that.

  • Rdb85

    Another premature stoppage on our shores for the home fighter, 50 secs of unanswered punches sky say but during their own replay they showed 9 thrown back with 3/4 landing, Chudinov didnt even retreat to the ropes and was stepping forward to throw as the ref jumped in, shocking stoppage in my eyes wouldnt be shocked if George had thrown himself out aswell if they let it continue or even give it a standing 8 count

    • Dan O’Rourke

      time for a new hobby

  • Conrad

    This fight tonight was the first I’ve ever been to, and Groves has been my favourite fighter ever since the first Froch fight which properly got me into boxing, the atmosphere when he stopped him in the 6th was incredible. Brilliant night

    • Ten Count Toronto

      Nice story, you picked a good card to go to.

  • Orca

    Thought Groves looked terrible by his standards. He picked it up a bit later but something was missing from the 1st bell. Entertaining fight though.

    • Chris Stans

      Maybe it was nerves. He’d pretty much bet his entire career on this fight

      • Orca

        That definitely played a part. So much on the line. Almost unbearable.

      • Ten Count Toronto

        He’s fought far bigger names before. Could be it was because of being the heavy favorite this time? Or was Manchester on his mind with that being so recent? Maybe. But personally I don’t think he’s been right at that weight for a long time and can only be on a downward trajectory – even he belatedly “found religion” about training & dieting year-round, age is making the task harder.

        Carl Froch though he should have been a Light Heavy several years ago. Of course the trouble is competition at 175 has suddenly gotten much thicker so it’s not a good time in terms of prospects to win a title.