In his fourth attempt, George Groves has finally done it, winning his first world title today in Sheffield, England, stopping Fedor Chudinov in the sixth round, claiming the vacant WBA super middleweight title.
Groves (26-3, 19 KO) had to withstand some early pressure from Chudinov (14-2, 10 KO), and even looked a bit rattled in the opening round. The Russian never took a backward step, constantly coming forward, but did find himself on the end of some good shots to both the head and body from Groves.
In the sixth, Groves pretty much battered Chudinov until the referee was forced to stop the fight with Chudinov on his feet. Chudinov didn’t necessarily seem to be in any immense trouble, and there will probably be some suggestions that it was a quick hook, but he was taking consistent clean shots and simply not throwing back, so the referee had a call to make, and he chose to end the fight.
For Groves, 29, this doesn’t erase past losses to Carl Froch (twice) and Badou Jack, but does mean that he will go down in history as a world champion, calling it the culmination of his life’s work, and saying that he’s ready to face anyone at 168 pounds. The biggest fight would probably be a rematch with old rival James DeGale, the reigning IBF titleholder. Groves beat DeGale back in 2011 when both were unbeaten prospects, and their rivalry goes back to their amateur days.
Otherwise, the current top ranked WBA contenders are Isaac Ekpo, David Benavidez, and, for some reason, Paul Smith.
If you missed this fight, check out the full bout here courtesy Showtime: