George Grove 13-0 (10 KO’s) is fully focussed on his British and Commonwealth super-middleweight title match-up with rival Paul Smith 31-2 (17).
Groves did not rule out a rematch with bitter rival James DeGale in the future but his attentions were firmly on his November 5 clash against former British champion Smith at the Wembley Arena LIVE and exclusive on BoxNation (Sky Platform Ch.456).
The British and Commonwealth champion will return to the ring for the first time after that impressive-narrow victory over DeGale in May. His opponent ’Smigga’ lost to DeGale last December and will be aiming to take back his British title.
After DeGale’s European title victory on Saturday the question on everyone’s lips were whether it would tempt Groves into a rematch, but the 23-year-old revealed, "I am fully focussed on Smith and DeGale is not in my plans just yet."
"After my signing (to Frank Warren) and the nature of the outcome of our fight I think it is inevitable for rematch calls to be made. But he would be running the risk if he faces me again and gets beaten. A narrow loss favours him he can hold his head high and still claim he beat me."
Though, Groves is fully focussed on the task at hand when he meets Smith in Wembley on the billing of Ricky Burns and Michael Katsidis and is preparing for a physical test, "He will try and rush me. He will think he can come into the ring and try to boss it and out muscle me. He will try to get me to walk onto a big shot. He will be shocked, I have the greater strength."
Groves had wanted to meet Smith last year but the British champion opted to face DeGale instead, the ’Saint’ believes Smith is taking this fight in a bid to make people forget about his British title loss last December, "He obviously wants the fight to try and make people forget about his loss to DeGale. He is a good fighter and will ask questions. I wanted to defend this title (his new British title) and Smith was the right move."
"In his last few fights he has just had to face what has been put in front of him but I don’t think a couple of first round knockouts would have served him too well going into this. I don’t think I will have too much to worry about."
When questioned whether he will be going into the fight with knowledge of DeGale having defeated the Liverpool fighter in nine rounds, Groves told how he will remain professional and box his own fight, "It would obviously be nice to get an early knockout and especially before the ninth but I won’t go into this fight thinking that way. I won’t go into it trying to get it finished early, I will just fight my own fight. I am not one to pick a round or anything like that."
Groves has often spoke of his ambition to be a world champion and thinks a victory at Wembley at the start of next month will be another stepping stone, "A victory against Smith would be another step in the right direction in my career. He has been around a long time and is an established pro. It will be another scalp to add to my C.V. Whether a world title opportunity will come after this is uncertain but I would like that and I believe I will be ready for that next year."
October 21, 2011