Frank Warren wants Groves to fight for world title at Wembley
PUBLISHED: 13:42 25 July 2012
PA Wire/Press Association Images
Promoter Frank Warren has promised to pull out the stops to secure George Groves a world title fight at Wembley within the next year.
The 24-year-old super-middleweight from Hammersmith has been out of the ring since last November, when he successfully defended his British title against Paul Smith at Wembley Arena.
Groves, who makes his comeback against Francisco Sierra in California on Saturday, has been lined up for another Wembley date in September, almost certainly a rematch with Kenny Anderson.
And Warren wants to make that the first of several lucrative shows in the capital next season – including a world title challenge for Groves, who is still unbeaten after 14 professional contests.
“I’d hope to have it at the stadium!” Warren told the Times. “Wembley’s a big boxing arena, with a fantastic history, and it’s a natural venue for George.
“We’ve put on lots of big events in Manchester, Liverpool and even Scotland, and London seems to have been a bit neglected in some ways.
“The fans in London come out for big fights and we feel there’s a good audience there. Hopefully this is the first of many big shows we’ll be doing in the capital on a regular basis.
“We’ve got a great group of boxers in London, headed up by George – hopefully he’ll come through his next fight okay and we’ll have him back on a regular basis, boxing at Wembley.
“He’s a very talented fighter, very dedicated, and I think he’s going to go on to bigger and better things. Unfortunately he’s had a couple of injuries but I’m delighted we’re in a position now where we can guide his career.
“Now he’s back in the game, I’m going to throw the whole weight of my promotion behind him and hopefully we’ll get him a world title shot in London within 12 months.”
Groves had been due to challenge Robert Stieglitz for the WBO crown earlier this year, but pulled out after damaging cartilage in his nose during a training camp in Cyprus.
That setback came just weeks after Warren pulled the plug on a Wembley show that would have pitted the former Dale Youth ABC amateur against Anderson, who knocked Groves down during their first meeting in November 2010.
Before thoughts turn to the likely Anderson rematch, Groves – who also holds the Commonwealth belt – must first overcome Sierra in Saturday’s clash, which will be screened on BoxNation.
The Mexican fighter brings a record of 25 wins and a draw in 31 contests to the ring, while Groves will be boxing in the United States for only the second time in his career.
“Hopefully in the future I’ll have a few title fights over in the States, so it’ll be good to get used to it,” said the Londoner. “I can’t wait to get out there and show what I’ve got.
“I’ve had three back-to-back training camps and got injured towards the end, but I’m in good health now and sometimes it’s good to get prolonged time in the gym without a high-profile fight.
“If injury hadn’t struck me down I think I’d be a world champion now – the Stieglitz fight would have been a great fight for me. Now I want to keep busy and get some rounds under my belt.”
Provided Groves emerges unscathed this weekend, his next assignment will be on the September 14 show, which will also feature undefeated Wembley light-welterweight Gary Corcoran on the undercard.
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