It has been almost four months since George Groves lost his WBA title to Callum Smith in the World Boxing Super Series super-middleweight final. And although Groves insisted on continuing his career shortly after the loss, there has been no word on what the Londoner’s plans are for the future.
Groves finally achieved his dream of becoming a world champion at the fourth time of asking when he stopped Fedor Chudinov in May, 2017. He racked up two successful defenses against Jamie Cox and Chris Eubank Jr before running into Smith, who was the more technically skilled on the night.
The Liverpool based current world champion, who now owns the WBA (Super) and the Ring Magazine titles, was able to counter his opponent many times when Groves let his hands go. The bout was quite competitive up until the seventh round when Smith caught him with a left to the head that sent Groves reeling back into his own corner. A barrage of punches were rained down on him, eventually forcing him to submit to the ground. He took the full ten count, shaking his head while looking at his team to convey that he no longer wanted to continue.
It was a solid conclusion to what was an enthralling tournament.
A shoulder injury acquired in the Eubank Jr fight postponed the Super Series final for quite some time until Groves was finally fully fit to compete. The “Saint” confirmed that his previous shoulder injury played no part in the loss to Smith.
So, where does he go from here?
Well, there is some good news for him. In a way. James DeGale has admitted his desire to fight Groves again for a second time after he has faced Chris Eubank Jr on February 23rd. They last fought in a mega domestic clash in May, 2011 which Groves managed to snatch by a split decision. That would be a decent payday for both men, although it is not a certainty that it would do just as well as their original fight considering how much time has passed. Groves could be considered a spent force by the public at this point. And the same may be thought of about DeGale. Nevertheless, their rivalry still exists and the promotion for it would surely be full of tension and budding excitement. Former Olympic gold medalist, DeGale should also not be looking past Eubank Jr, who will surely be looking to re-establish his name amongst the very best in the division.
Outside of a DeGale return, it’s difficult to see where George can go. Fighting for British, Commonwealth and European titles would be going down similar roads that he has done before and I doubt he would be motivated enough for that. Getting paid for fighting at those levels would also be something that would not exactly last a lifetime.
Another option could be to move to light-heavyweight. There are some appealing big names there, such as Sergey Kovalev and the newly crowned Oleksandr Gvozdyk who stopped Adonis Stevenson last month. Who knows how well Groves could compete at this weight because we do not know how much he has left in the tank. It was thought that he lost a step or two after being knocked out by Carl Froch in their rematch, but getting Shane McGuigan onboard as trainer seemingly gave Groves a new lease of life.
All the Hammersmith boxer can do is weigh up his limited options and start again. Even he will not know how his luck will turn out when he steps back into the ring again. At least George finally came through victorious in achieving his dream of becoming a world champion.
That should give him some peace, at least.