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George's pro KO

PUBLISHED: 16:49 04 February 2009 | UPDATED: 13:27 24 August 2010

George Groves (blue shorts) defeats Romaric Hignard (black shorts) in a Super-Middleweight boxing contest at York Hall, Bethnal Green, promoted by Hayemaker Promotions (David Haye) - 01/02/09 - MANDATORY CREDIT: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO - Self billing applies where appropriate - 0845 094 6026 - contact@tgsphoto.co.uk - NO UNPAID USE

George Groves (blue shorts) defeats Romaric Hignard (black shorts) in a Super-Middleweight boxing contest at York Hall, Bethnal Green, promoted by Hayemaker Promotions (David Haye) - 01/02/09 - MANDATORY CREDIT: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO - Self billing applies where appropriate - 0845 094 6026 - contact@tgsphoto.co.uk - NO UNPAID USE

Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR - Editorial Use ONLY - FA Premier League and Football League

GEORGE Groves achieved his first professional knockout in a dazzling display on Sunday – and insists he could have ended the contest sooner. Groves was completely in control as he stopped Frenchman Romaric Hignard in the third round at York Hall...

GEORGE Groves achieved his first professional knockout in a dazzling display on Sunday - and insists he could have ended the contest sooner.

Groves was completely in control as he stopped Frenchman Romaric Hignard in the third round at York Hall, having dumped him on the canvas three times.

It was the 20-year-old Hammersmith boxer's second professional success and he told the Times: "I wasn't trying to blast the guy out, but I put him down twice in the first round and could have stopped it there and then. "But I didn't need to - I was working on everything we'd done in the gym and putting it into practice. But by the third round he had to go, the referee made the right decision.

"The guy had never been stopped before, so I was expecting to do a tough six rounds. My strength has improved and I felt the power was coming through, now I'm going to keep busy and roll on to the next one."

The former Dale Youth ABC star darted around the ring from the first bell, picking his punches at will and deposited Hignard on the floor with a lethal combination.

A powerful right put the Parisian down for a second time and a series of body shots from Groves gave him no opportunity to recover as he clung on in the second round.

The only black mark against Groves was a warning from referee Bob Williams, for shoving his opponent to the canvas with both hands as the pair became entangled.

But the Londoner soon reasserted his authority and a flurry of punches midway through the third round sent Hignard tumbling again, prompting Williams to halt the contest.

And Groves, who began his professional career with a points victory over Kirill Pshonko last November, will be aiming for a hat-trick when he steps into the ring again, in Liverpool at the end of March.

Further bouts are pencilled in for Hayemaker shows in Ireland and then on the undercard of David Haye's planned world heavyweight title fight with Wladimir Klitschko at Stamford Bridge during the summer.

"We had York Hall rammed out. Probably 50-60 per cent of the crowd had come to see me box and we'll take the same up to Liverpool, don't you worry!" Groves promised. "I've got some loyal fans, they go everywhere and I want to keep them excited and entertained."

n ALL THREE of Dale Youth's young amateurs came through their respective fights with ease at the weekend to march into the quarter-finals of the National Schools Championships.

At the pre-quarter-final round in Oxfordshire, the three Ladbroke Grove representatives sealed their place in the last eight in Grays, Essex on Saturday.

With Sean Robinson coming through his bout, he was soon joined by Harry Connolly, who showed a good work rate and threw some quality punches to win on a majority decision against Zane Danton.

Andrew Smith came up against Chris McDonagh, both of whom were unbeaten coming into this fight, and Smith - after pinning his opponent in the second round - won a unamimous victory.


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