Three-time world title challenger George Groves says he’s couldn’t be in a better place moving forward, and is willing to fight anyone once he captures that elusive world title.
The 28-year-old kept active in 2016, racking up four victories with new trainer Shane McGuigan. Groves (25-3 18KO) is scheduled to fight Russian Fedor Chudinov (14-1 10KO) for the vacant WBA ‘Super’ World super-middleweight strap in early-mid 2017.
Groves – who claimed the WBA International title against David Brophy in April 2016, and has had two successful defences against Martin Murray and Eduard Gutknecht, believes he’ll beat anyone at 168lbs under the tutelage of Shane McGuigan.
“I want to become world champion, and once that happens then I’d willingly fight anyone,” he said. “I think I’m in a great place. I feel working with Shane, I’m capable of beating anyone – whether it be DeGale, Callum Smith, they’re big fights back home in the UK.
“[It’s] fantastic, and I’ll happily accept them. I look forward to them, can’t wait for them to happen.”
The London native travelled to Las Vegas with the McGuigan’s as Carl Frampton takes on Leo Santa Cruz, and Josh Taylor makes his U.S debut on the undercard on January 28 at MGM Grand.
Groves has been training at Shawn Porter’s Porter Hy-Performance gym in Vegas alongside Frampton and Taylor, sparring US super-middleweight prospects whilst waiting for confirmation on when his fourth shot at world glory will be.
With Felix Sturm getting stripped of his WBA belt due to failing a drugs test after controversially beating Chudinov, the title became vacant and is now due to be contested between the top two ranked fighters – Chudinov and Groves.
Groves – who is represented by Suaerland Promotions from Germany, says there are no issues with finalising his world title bout, and hinted it’s likely to be in the UK.
“The fight [is] to be made,” Groves added. “They always slap a deadline on in, but it always gets extended.
“If I was a betting man, he knows he’s got to come to the UK, it’s what makes sense.
“Last year I had my head down, and I knew every one of those fights was to get me where I am now.
“It’s been a tough period, but this is a mega fight for me, and it’s a fight where I’m going into it in the best possible place with a fantastic team [and] with a proven trainer.”
The 28-year-old – who suffered a split decision loss to Badou Jack in September 2015, feels James DeGale’s hard-fought draw with the Swedish-based American proves how tough a challenge Jack is, but also says it would be a different outcome if they shared a ring now.
“I think a draw with them two is more of a fair reflection of my fight with Badou Jack, but at the same time I feel I can do a better job now, working with Shane [McGuigan] than I did in that Badou Jack fight the first time.
“It’s all how you perform on the night, everything’s different. James is chuffed because he’s hung on and he’s still got his belt.”