• Super-middleweight

Groves: I'm not worried about ring rust

ESPN staff
July 26, 2012
George Groves is eager to return to action © Getty Images

George Groves has played down the significance of his lengthy ring absence ahead of his meeting with Francisco Sierra, the British and Commonwealth super-middleweight champion insisting he will shock people with the improvements he has made during his time out of the limelight.

Following a near nine-month absence, Groves returns to action against Mexican Sierra, who has tasted defeat five times in 31 bouts, on July 28 in California.

Injuries forcd Groves out of scheduled fights with Kenny Anderson and Robert Stieglitz but, having recovered, he is now booked in for two fights in the space of six weeks.

The Brit faces Sierra on Saturday in what wil be only his second fight on US soil, with a rematch with Anderson (Groves stopped the Scot in their previous bout in 2010) being earmarked for September, although the fight is in danger of going to purse bids.

"I was scratching around for a fight for the past few months. There weren't any suitable shows in the UK so Golden Boy [Promotions] stepped up and put us on the show," Groves is quoted as saying by boxingscence.com. "So now I'm here in sunny San Jose. Boxnation has been involved in a lot of Golden Boy shows so I will now get showcased on both sides of the pond.

"I haven't been as active as I want to be, but now I have this fight and a 12-round championship fight coming up. I had quite a bit of time out after beating [James] DeGale [in May 2011] before returning [six months later] to take out Paul Smith in two rounds. I'm not worried about ring rust."

Regardless of his long lay-off, Groves is determined to show boxing fans across the Atlantic how he has honed his skills behind closed doors.

"You'll see a new side to me, more boxing and a much more fluid style than you've seen me put together in past fights," he added. "When it comes to actual gym work, I'm putting in the work; I've now had three training camps going into this fight. I've made the improvements in the gym but just haven't been given the chance to show it in a fight."

Groves is determined not to overlook Sierra despite the prospect of headlining a major show at Wembley Arena in September. "Keeping busy and getting in as much action as possible is important to me for this year. I'm looking forward to this and then jumping back into the ring just six weeks later."

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