Super middleweight contender George Groves put himself in a great position by outpointing Christopher Rebrasse of France in an entertaining fight (and a dominant performance) on Saturday in London.
England’s Groves (20-2, 15 KOs) won the European title and put back-to-back knockout losses to Carl Froch in world title bouts behind him, and also put himself in position for another world title shot.
Groves’ victory made him the mandatory challenger for Anthony Dirrell (27-0-1, 22 KOs), of Flint, Michigan, who claimed a 168-pound world title by outpointing Sakio Bika in their rematch (of a previous draw) on Aug. 16.
Groves’ KO loss to Froch in November 2013 was heavily disputed because of the quick stoppage in a fight Groves was winning handily. Groves couldn't complain, however, about the knockout in their May rematch. But Groves looked good getting back on track against Rebrasse.
“It feels great to be back,’’ Groves said. ‘’Rebrasse was a good opponent, a very tough guy. He took an awful lot of shots and kept coming. I knew it was going to be a hard fight. I felt in good condition but you always have to be cautious against a guy that has never been stopped. I want to entertain. I want to knock people out. I didn’t manage that, but I gave it real good go. Things are only going to get better from here. We’re getting ready to take over the world.”
He's hoping for a fight with Dirrell as soon as possible.
“Dirrell has already made some statements, he’s a bit cheeky, a little bit outspoken,’’ Groves said. “He’s been quite disrespectful to Rebrasse. I knock out a lot of guys and Rebrasse took some big shots. I’m not sure Dirrell could stand up to some of the punches I landed. He has said he doesn’t want to fight me, that he doesn’t want to come to the U.K., but now he may just have to.”
There’s no doubt that there is more money for a Dirrell-Groves fight in England than in the United States. Dirrell essentially has no fan base, which is why both of his title fights with Bika were on Showtime undercards and neither did anything to help the gate. Groves, however, is a draw in England and was a big part of why the rematch with Froch drew some 80,000 to Wembley Stadium in London.
Groves’ promoter, Kalle Sauerland, said he is ready to begin negotiating Dirrell-Groves.
“Before this fight [against Rebrasse] I described George as one of the most exciting boxers on the planet,” Sauerland said. “After [Saturday’s] performance my mind hasn’t changed one bit. We’re ready to start talking to Dirrell's people [adviser Al Haymon]. I don’t see any other options for them. There are no bigger fights out there. George is a natural entertainer inside and outside the ring. He has a style that would be very appealing to a U.S. audience.”