Groves eager for showdown with rival DeGale

GEORGE Groves moved a step closer to a possible British title showdown with his bitter former Dale Youth rival James DeGale after his win over Kenny Anderson.

‘The Saint’ rewarded a full capacity MEN Arena and millions watching on Sky Box Office with a value for money performance and sixth-round stoppage success.

Punters may have felt short-changed and disappointed with the main Haye-Harrison event, but the 22-year-old from Hammersmith kept them happily entertained by beating tough slugger and fellow unbeaten prospect Anderson, while retaining his Commonwealth super-middleweight title which was also a final eliminator for the British title.

And Groves, tongue-in-cheek, revealed afterwards his dramatic performance was actually a ploy to give the crowd their money’s worth: “I knew David [Haye] was going to destroy Audley [Harrison] and with all these people paying �15 to watch it on Pay Per View and hundreds more here I had to give them value for money!,” he chuckled.

“So I hit the deck in the third round just to put in some drama into the fight, got up, redeemed myself, then stopped him in the sixth round,” continued Groves, who now has 11 straight wins in his pro career.

“It was a tactic I secretly employed, I didn’t tell anyone. I’m trying to steal the show but I hope everyone who sawthe fight enjoyed it.”

Groves paid full credit to Anderson, 27, from Edinburgh, after ending his 12-fight unbeaten record: “All credit to him; he was a really strong tough guy. He gave me exactly what I needed in this stage of my career,” added Groves.

Most Read

And Groves is confident of beating DeGale, whom he expects to meet next, if the 2008 Olympic champion from Harlesden overcomes British title holder Paul Smith next month in Liverpool: “He has to fight me if he comes through Smith,” he said. “I want to fight James Degale.

“He’s destined for failure. He talks a good game but once he gets in there with someone real and someone live like me then he will be on the floor.

“It will be like Bernard Hopkins and Kelly Pavlik. Is this the superstar everyone has built up? I know how to take him apart mentally and physically. That’s what will happen.”