Saint steals the show in Sunderland!!

19 10 2009

George Groves produced another hugely impressive performance to stop Lithuanian Tadas Jonkus in the 4th round of their scheduled 6 round fight on Friday night.

David Coldwell, George Groves & Adam booth

David Coldwell, George Groves & Adam booth

On a bill that also included Sunderland’s Olympic bronze medallist Tony Jeffries, and former amateur rival Travis Dickinson, Groves had been keen to impress, and impress he did showing the movement, patience and power that has characterised his professional career to date. Indeed, it’s easy to forget that the young prospect from Hammersmith is still in only his first year as a pro, having made his debut in November last year. That means his next bout on the undercard of David Haye’s Sky Box Office clash with Nikolay Valuev on Nov 7th will make it 7 fights in year 1, and with the last 5 fights all ending in stoppage wins, it’s been a stunning start from the Saint.

Friday night saw his first fight with new promoter Frank Maloney and correspondingly his first fight on Sky Sports, which is, considering the number of fighters on the Sunderland bill, testament to his performance. Having fought just 12 days previously and boxing a man who had never been stopped, Groves started with poise, taking a good look at Jonkus early on without letting go with too much intent. As ever, the 21 year-old made good use of feints and his left jab to back up his opponent. Jonkus covered up well on the ropes but Groves landed hard to the body and it always looked a matter of time before the Lithuanian gave way.

Saint1As it was, a series of sickening blows to the body saw a compassionate stoppage from the referee with just over a minute of the 4th round remaining. It was a classy performance from Groves who showed a maturity and assurance in his approach to break down a durable opponent. Speaking on Sky after the fight, Groves said “The guy’s never been stopped, so there’s a reason for that. I’m happy I got the stoppage tonight. You can’t just bombard these guys because they just tuck up well and they come back with a solid shot and if they catch you it’s goodnight nurse.”

“It’s all about feinting and trying to break the guy down and break his spirit more than anything, and you know, it worked tonight, I got the stoppage in the 4th round.”

“There’s no such thing as a complete fighter you know, we’ve been looking at legendary fighters and you still find faults, but the next thing for me is always going to be defense.”

On a night in which, fellow new pro Tony Jeffries stuttered to a disappointing points win in front of his home fans, and Travis Dickinson beat a massively over-matched debutant, Groves can be more than satisfied with a slick and confident performance that will no doubt have continued to convince fight fans he is a bona fide Super-middleweight star in the making.

Elsewhere, Heavyweight David Price returned after a prolonged absence and stopped Liridon Memishi in the 2nd round, whilst headliner Jason Booth looked excellent stopping a brave Michael Hunter in the 5th round of their British Super-Bantamweight title fight. All results from the night can be found on Boxrec

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