Dominant Groves back to winning ways after Froch defeat as he eyes next world title tilt

George Groves returned to winning ways after two consecutive losses to Carl Froch when he outpointed Christopher Rebrasse over 12 rounds at Wembley Arena last night.

Victory for the Hammersmith fighter also made him the European super middleweight champion and mandatory challenger for the WBC world title, currently held by Anthony Dirrell.

In front of an 8,000-strong crowd, Groves put on an impressive display of controlled aggression to earn himself scorecards of 118-110 twice and 117-111.

“He took an awful lot of punches,” said Groves.  “We knew it was going to be tough, we talked about the comedown from the historic last fight. I always say I deal with pressure well, and tonight I’ve got a bit of success to go with it.

“I want to knock people out. I didn’t manage to do it tonight, but I gave it a real good go. I think all the fans here tonight appreciate that, so that’s why they come out to support me.

“I didn’t want to run out of steam. I felt in great condition but you always have to be cautious with a guy who has never been stopped.”

Despite entering the ring a heavy favourite, Groves was unable to finish his night early as Rebrasse consistently tried to counterpunch his way into the fight.

Indeed, the 28-year-old Frenchman lived up to his nickname, ‘The Iceberg’ – his wiry frame disguising the vast amount of heart and resilience he holds beneath the surface.

The two boxers set the precedent for the contest immediately, fighting the entire first round in the centre of the ring whilst Groves pierced through Rebrasse’s high guard with his jab.

The second stanza followed a similar pattern, before the 26-year-old Londoner began to vary his attack in the third and take advantage of Rebrasse’s limited head movement, troubling the Frenchman.

The high pace continued in the fourth, with Groves expending a lot of energy to ensure he was always first to the punch.

After a slower fifth and sixth, Groves upped the ante again in the seventh, but Rebrasse continued to throw with him.

Groves sustained the pressure in rounds eight and nine, and while each round of the fight had so far been close, the memorable punches were coming from the man they call ‘The Saint’.

Despite his trainer Paddy Fitzpatrick telling him not to look for the knockout, Groves spent the championship rounds loading up on his varied attacks, but was unable to hurt Rebrasse.

At the final bell, there were no questions over who had won. After the fight, Groves expressed his desire to challenge for the world title before Christmas.

Speaking of the champion, Dirrell, Groves said: “He doesn’t want to fight me, but he knows he has to. He’s in for a rude awakening.

“He’s been very disrespectful. He’s got his win, he’s the champion and I’ll give him that respect. He says he doesn’t want to come to the UK, but we might make him.

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