George Groves dominates defiant German Eduard Gutknecht to defend the WBA International Super-Middleweight title but the finish eludes him.
“I busted him up pretty bad, I’m surprised he made it to the final bell” joked Groves after the fight.
The fight was ultimately won by the slick skills and ram rod jab of the Englishman. From round one it was easy to see were the agility and punch variety was coming from.
“I’m very happy with the way i fought i thought it was exactly to plan. Talking with Shane before the fight we wanted to establish the jab as always” Said Groves after the fight.
It looked like Groves might finish the job in round four after stunning his opponent with a sneaky right hook behind the guard. However Gutknecht proved his resilience and survived which remained the narrative of the fight.
The question begged would Groves wilt under pressure in the second half of the fight? The tough challenger was certainly putting on the pressure to force this outcome. Though Groves showed his own toughness by sustaining the pace. The feints and jabs were working perfectly jabbing to the head and body and countering with the right hand.
In round nine the accuracy of the jabs started to show as the 34 year old was cut and swollen around the right eye. From there on in, the flood gates were open. The Saint was landing at will and it looked inevitable that the stoppage would come.
But the stoppage never came as the 28 year old enjoyed a wide point’s victory. Groves adapting a safety first strategy was either unable or unwilling to go for the stoppage. Against a wounded and defeated assailant, the lack of a finish leads us to question the killer instinct of the champion.
Speaking of potential fights Groves said:
“Ideally I’d love a rematch with Badou Jack, you know it was a tight decision first time I lost, I feel now working with Shane I’d do a proper number on him”.
However a rematch with arch rival James Degale which would be a mega fight still looms on his horizon:
“That being said he is fighting my old pal James Degale – I’d love that fight too”.
The 3 time world title challenger certainly has the skills and seems to have lifted his game after teaming up with Shane McGuigan. However questions on stamina and character remain.