On Saturday of this week, at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California, British and Commonwealth champ, George Groves (14-0) has his second bout in the states against Francisco Sierra (25-5-1). Now under the promotions of Frank Warren and in the public eye due to the talent he has shown in his recent performances, Groves appears to have a promising career ahead of him. This is another test of his durability, which he must pass in order to put his name out there for another shot at the title which eluded him last time.
Groves first really came on the domestic radar as a potential star when he beat Kenny Anderson for the Commonwealth title. However, when he beat Olympic gold medalist James DeGale, taking his British title in a well spoke about grudge match. The two went at it at the pressers, the weigh in; all in a build up to a fight that Groves won. After that fight, it became clear he is here to stay and means business.
He is a strong puncher with 11 of his wins coming by KO, but he can box and has a reasonable amateur pedigree; demonstrating signs of disappointment that he never made the Olympic standard despite beating DeGale as an amateur also.
His opponent Francisco Sierra is no slouch neither; stopping 22 of his opponents inside the distance. He does have five losses, but these have only come against known and reasonable opposition. These are recently against young potential star Thomas Oosthuizen in pursuit of his IBO title, also Jesus Gonzalez which was for the NABF crown. He also has a loss to hard-hitting Edison Miranda and two to Rigoberto Alvarez. He poses a height advantage of around two inches, so I am sure he will adopt the strategy of establishing the jab, and using it to set up his big straight shots from the outside, as opposed to coming close.
To conclude, I have big hopes for Groves and I do not feel biased when I say I see him going to the US and taking this by a convincing KO. Hopefully he will not try to impress too much and will find his opportunities but regardless I do not see it going more than 6 rounds.
Although the bout is not being televised on the regular Showtime Network, it will be on The Sho Extreme network. Should Groves impress, a fight with a top 10 contender or someone near it should be next. Should Groves continue to impress, he will throw his name in the hat and into an already strong super-middleweight division.