• Super-middleweight

Groves galloping towards crack at WBO crown

ESPN staff
March 8, 2012
George Groves has a rematch with Kenny Anderson later this month © PA Photos

British super-middleweight champion George Groves has been catapulted into the world-title picture, with the WBO ordering a purse bid for a fight against Robert Stieglitz.

Stieglitz, who holds the WBO crown at 12 stone, is a veteran of 29 more professional fights and would represent a significant step up in quality for Groves.

The organisation's ruling has taken many by surprise, considering both participants are facing difficult assignments next: Stieglitz is scheduled to meet Mikkel Kessler on April 14, while Groves has a rematch with Kenny Anderson on March 16.

Kessler is a two-time world champion who can boast a victory over Carl Froch on his CV; Groves was floored by Anderson before recording a stoppage win when they first met in November 2010, on the undercard of David Haye v Audley Harrison.

In December 2011, Groves' trainer Adam Booth suggested that his charge was not ready to go for one of the most lucrative honours in the division. "It frightens me how little he knows and how much he's got to do," Booth told West London Sport.

"I've got no problem stating what his weaknesses are at the moment. I'm telling everyone that if you fight George, look for him with the right because you'll find him."

The purse bid will take place in Hungary on March 12.

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