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George has food for thought

PUBLISHED: 17:51 20 January 2010 | UPDATED: 14:52 24 August 2010

George Groves (silver shorts) defeats Tadas Jonkus in a Super-Middleweight Boxing contest at the Seaburn Centre, Sunderland, promoted by Frank Maloney - 17/10/09 - MANDATORY CREDIT: Chris Royle/TGSPHOTO - Self billing applies where appropriate - Tel: 0845 094 6026.

George Groves (silver shorts) defeats Tadas Jonkus in a Super-Middleweight Boxing contest at the Seaburn Centre, Sunderland, promoted by Frank Maloney - 17/10/09 - MANDATORY CREDIT: Chris Royle/TGSPHOTO - Self billing applies where appropriate - Tel: 0845 094 6026.

Chris Royle/TGSPHOTO, c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR - Tel: 0845 094 6026 - contact@tgsphoto.co.uk

By Ben Kosky GEORGE Groves is hungry for a title challenge later this year – but he s got enough on his plate in the next fortnight alone. The Hammersmith super-middleweight takes on Thomas Awinbono at Brentwood tomorrow night before flying to Las Vegas f

By Ben Kosky

GEORGE Groves is hungry for a title challenge later this year - but he's got enough on his plate in the next fortnight alone.

The Hammersmith super-middleweight takes on Thomas Awinbono at Brentwood tomorrow night before flying to Las Vegas for his American debut just eight days later.

And Groves is hoping for a more palatable experience than his last visit to Vegas at Christmas, when he was confined to bed for two days after contracting food poisoning.

"I just couldn't work out what it was," Groves recalled. "Me and my girlfriend ate at all the same places and normally I'm the one with the cast-iron stomach when she tells me not to eat stuff.

"But this time I came unstuck and I couldn't get out of bed for two days - then again, the best thing was that I came back to London lighter than when I went.

"I'm looking forward to going back, though. Boxing in Las Vegas is something you dream about as a kid - and David Haye recently pointed out that he hasn't even boxed there yet, so I can't complain!

"Obviously it won't be my title fight, but hopefully that'll come. I'm rattling out these two fights and, as long as I come through unscathed, hopefully there'll be a title shot on the horizon."

The 21-year-old had been scheduled to appear on the undercard of the world welterweight title unification clash between Sugar Shane Mosley and Andre Berto - a fighter of Haitian origin.

That contest has been called off following the earthquake in Haiti and, although the show may yet go ahead, Groves must first take care of Awinbono over eight rounds at Brentwood Leisure Centre.

The Ghanaian, 29, has six wins and a draw on his 10-fight record and unsuccessfully fought Bradley Pryce for the Commonwealth light-middle-weight title in 2007.

His only other professional appearance in the UK came last summer, when he went the distance in a points defeat by Martin Murray.

"He's never been stopped and, if you go 10 rounds with someone like Murray, that tells me he certainly won't be a pushover," Groves added.

"The fact I've got another fight so soon is the only thing that stops me from doing a 10-rounder this time. But I know the fitness is there and definitely after these two I'll be looking for 10 or 12.

"I'd like that to be a title fight or a British title eliminator. I watched Charles Adamu boxing for the Commonwealth title last month and I really believe I could do a job on him."

Wembley-based featherweight Akaash Bhatia is also on the undercard for the Brentwood show, which is headlined by Ian Napa's British bantamweight title clash with Jamie McDonnell.

AUDLEY Harrison has been thrown a career lifeline after gaining a shot at the European heavyweight title in April.

The former Olympic gold medallist, from Kingsbury, forced his way back into the limelight by winning the Prizefighter heavyweight series crown three months ago.

Harrison has since signed up with Matchroom Sport and will face European champion Albert Sosnowski of Poland on Friday April 9 at Alexandra Palace.


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