• Steve Bunce

Groves could pull off major Froch shock

Steve Bunce March 12, 2013

George Groves had an ideal debut for new promoters Matchroom at Wembley on Saturday, barely breaking a sweat in his third round stoppage of Dario German Balmaceda; but that is exactly what it was about.

After leaving Frank Warren at very short notice, nobody really expected Groves to have a hard fight. It will be the next couple of fights in Groves' contract that will tell us how good or bad his move will be.

Groves had a WBO super-middleweight world title fight with Robert Stieglitz last year. In theory, he could now be the WBO world champion and still with Warren but he's chosen to go elsewhere.

Let's hope it works out very well for him.

After his victory on Saturday night, Groves hinted the possibility of a fight with Carl Froch could happen sooner rather than later. That would make for a fantastic stadium fight. Froch is comfortably above every single super-middleweight in Britain at the moment, but has had a hard boxing career. Eventually it will catch up with him.

Groves and his manager Adam Booth will have to pick the right time - but if they do, they could pull off what would be a major shock.

Groves' next fight is May 25, on the Froch-Mikkel Kessler undercard. As for his opponent, there is a lot of talk about it being a big name. If Groves wants to fight Froch, it will need to be an ex-champion. His last fight for Frank Warren was against Glen Johnson, a brilliant former IBF world champion - that's the kind of fight he will need.

A veteran would be perfect.

Cleverly would need Calzaghe blueprint to tame the Master

Buncey's Boxing Podcast

Speaking of veterans, I'm getting sick of saying the words "Bernard Hopkins" and "masterclass" in the same sentence. The 48-year-old broke his own record in becoming the oldest boxer to win a major title last weekend, defeating Tavoris Cloud for the IBF light-heavyweight championship - and it was a romp.

In a 12-round unanimous decision, Hopkins simply did not struggle. Cloud is not a bad champion; he's a good young fighter, but that was a Hopkins in full flow. From the fourth round on, everything came together for Hopkins. It was like that moment in Star Wars where Luke Skywalker turns off his aim to shoot the Death Star; it was a Star Wars moment for a Star Wars generation, an old man just feeling the force.

Hopkins deserves a mention with some of the all-time greats; maybe not with the best, but he has passed every obstacle put in front of him. He has been there and done it - the history is there and now he deserves the accolades that come with it.

A lot of good champions have got in the ring with Hopkins - and they have all fallen into the same trap. But Joe Calzaghe, whose victory over Hopkins continues to look even more impressive, kept throwing punches and did not let Hopkins settle; Nathan Cleverly could follow the same ilk.

A fight with Carl Froch would be sensational.

As for Hopkins' claim that he had ended the reign of Don King, Hopkins has a history of defeating Don King's fighters - but as long as he is breathing and has access to a telephone, Don King is not finished. He has still got great contacts and that is why people still go to him. He makes it happen: and that is what Don is all about.

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Steve Bunce has been ringside in Las Vegas over 50 times, he has been at five Olympics and has been writing about boxing for over 25 years for a variety of national newspapers in Britain, including four which folded! It is possible that his face and voice have appeared on over 60 channels worldwide in a variety of languages - his first novel The Fixer was published in 2010 to no acclaim; amazingly it has been shortlisted for Sports Book of the Year.