• Boxing

Groves lined up for September return

Nick Parkinson
June 18, 2014
George Groves was savagely stopped by Carl Froch in the eighth round of their Wembley bout in May © Getty Images

George Groves is being lined up to make his ring return in London on September 13 or 20 after he was knocked out by Carl Froch last month.

Groves was savagely stopped in the eighth round by British rival Froch for the WBA and IBF world super-middleweight titles in front of 80,000 at Wembley Stadium. However, Groves is making a swift return to action and is targeting the other world title belts not in Froch's possession.

Groves' Germany-based promoter Kalle Sauerland says he will be steering him away from a bout against WBO world super-middleweight champion Arthur Abraham for now.

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Sauerland, who also promotes Abraham and signed Groves in the weeks before his rematch with Froch, is closing in on sealing a deal with British promoter Eddie Hearn for Abraham to defend his title against Liverpool's Paul Smith on September 27.

After suffering a second successive defeat to Froch, it would be a surprise if Groves secured a world title eliminator for September.

One possible route is trying to set up a future clash with WBC champion Sakio Bika, the Australia-based Cameroon boxer who last fought in December, and Sauerland hopes to match Groves against Abraham next year.

"George will box on September 13 or 20 and we are looking to get him out in London," Sauerland told ESPN. "He proved against Carl that he belonged at the world level and he was just punished for one mistake.

"But it hasn't effected George's confidence and the quickest route back for him to a world title is via an eliminator which we are trying to arrange.

"We think Arthur Abraham is a big fight to make possibly next year in a world title unification fight. We want to increase our number of world champions first, so they meet both with a world title each.

"Paul Smith is on a list and we are very interested in the fight against Abraham, but we have got to make ends meet with Eddie. I can see the fight happening but it's not done yet."

Sauerland is also hoping heavyweight David Price, 30, will box in Liverpool on September 6 for the first time since he suffered a stoppage defeat to veteran Tony Thompson in July last year.

After losing to Thompson for the second time in five months, Price signed for Sauerland and has since registered three wins overseas.

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Sauerland believes Price will face the winner of the clash between his British rivals Dereck Chisora and Tyson Fury, who meet in Manchester on July 26, next year before taking on world No 1 Wladimir Klitschko.

"September 6 in Liverpool is something we would like to do very much for Price," said Sauerland. "It would be against someone in the top ten of the world rankings and Pricey is already in the top ten of the WBC rankings himself.

"If we feel there's not the right opponent available for him in September, we will put the Liverpool show back to December. I think it's inevitable he will meet the winner of Fury-Chisora and it's stadium bound for next year.

"Tyson Fury knows he needs more experience before he fights Klitschko and more people will want to see David against either Fury or Chisora than they would David against Klitschko.

"It's a stepping programme with Pricey. Confidence was rock bottom when he signed with us last year but he has had some solid wins since and went ten rounds in his last fight.

"He's a bigger puncher than Klitschko but there are things we need to sharpen up and he's not at Klitschko's level yet, but he will be in 12 months.

"David has the most realistic chance of beating Klitschko because of his amateur pedigree [he won Olympic bronze in 2008], talent and size."

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