George Groves wants the the quickest route to a world title

George Groves is aiming to capture the WBC super middleweight title in his next fight after defeating Dennis Douglin at Liverpool’s Echo Arena last night.

Despite being favoured at 1/100 in some quarters to prevail against the little-known American southpaw, Groves, now 21-2 (16 KO), looked lacklustre during his seventh-round stoppage win.

The Hammersmith man admitted as much after the fight when speaking to Sky Sports Box Office and described how his trainer, Paddy Fitzpatrick, was just as unimpressed with the performance.

He said: “Paddy just said five out of 10. I’ll watch it back and most likely agree.

“Fighting a southpaw is totally different to what I’ve been used to lately so that was a good experience, exactly what I needed.

“Douglin’s a good fighter. He put up a great fight. You’ve got to change your distance, find your range, fighting someone with the opposite stance. He was very good with his head, he was very good inside.

“I wasn’t too interested in scrapping with him inside, so when he did get inside I wasn’t really doing what I should have been doing.

“There’s certainly other options but I want to take the quickest route and for me right now, the WBC is the quickest route.

“Between my promoters, Sauerland, we’re going to secure it in the near future and that’s exciting for me and hopefully everyone here, and the British boxing fans in general.

“I want to be a world champion and I want to bring another belt back to Britain. That’s the route, that’s the plan.”

The target for Groves now is the WBC belt holder Anthony Dirrell and despite the champion refusing to come to England for the potential fight, he and Sauerland Promotions are intent it can be made next.

Kalle Sauerland said: “George can do it anywhere. I believe he can beat Anthony Dirrell on the moon.

“We don’t really care about that, we just want the shot now, and we’ll be pushing for that.”

Douglin, 17-4 (10 KO), may have only been ranked 40th in the world before the fight, but he gave a good enough account of himself to remain level with the two time world title challenger before tiring and getting stopped in the seventh.

Groves, 26, started the fight slowly and Douglin obligingly deployed his awkward southpaw right hook to good effect, catching the Hammersmith man almost every time he came forward.

The ‘Saint’ started to find his range in the second round and levelled the contest with clean two and three punch combinations, but still remained open to the American’s troublesome left hook in return.

Douglin claimed the third round by producing the better work as the fight turned into a close and scrappy contest, the American happy to bury his head into Groves’ shoulder and restrict the Hammersmith man’s ability to fire back.

The fourth round saw a completely different George Groves emerge from the corner and for the first time in the fight he seemed to settle down and land clean with a wide range of punches from different angles.

Fitzpatrick could be seen imploring Groves to step it up at the start of the fifth but the American’s spoiling tactics of tying Groves up and landing light flurries provided the only real action to take the round.

Groves finally started to let his hands go with the power punches to take the sixth and the American was clearly tired as the seventh got underway.

The contest may have been even at this point but Groves showed the gulf in class between the pair by punishing the challenger with single shots which he followed up well before referee Victor Loughlin called an end to proceedings at 2.57 of the seventh round, Douglin in no state to continue.

“It’s good to get another stoppage. It’s good to be back, knocking people out. Now it’s just roll on to the big one for me, the WBC world title challenge and I can’t wait,” said Groves.

Brushing off his previous two failed attempts at world glory, he said: “It’s got to happen sometime! How many more tries do I need to have? I can’t keep letting people down!”

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