Boxing - Groves sets sights on WBO title

British super-middleweight George Groves has targeted the winner of WBO champion Arthur Abraham v Robert Stieglitz.

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George Groves poses with the Commonwealth super-middleweight championship (photo: Scott Heavey)

The unbeaten Hammersmith southpaw first challenges Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye for the vacant European title on Saturday 16th March at Wembley Arena with Abraham and Stieglitz meeting a week later in Germany.

He was due to face Stieglitz last March but had to withdraw due to an injury, Stieglitz later lost the title in a shock upset to Abraham in an action packed fight and they meet again in the rematch.

Groves, 24, who is the WBO number one ranked and mandatory challenger, is spurred on knowing that a win over the tough Italy-based Senegali - who hasn’t lost in almost five years and has never been stopped - will get him a shot at the world title next.

“With me being number one in the WBO that is the direction that I’m going in and I’ve got to keep an eye on these guys as I’ll be looking to fight the winner next,” said Groves.

“I’m focused on the fight in hand first, though, against Ndiaye and winning the European title, but once I come through that I want to be in Germany to see Abraham against Stieglitz up close.

“It was a close fight last time and Abraham won on strength, I think maybe he’ll win on endurance this time. It’s always tough to beat a fighter in a return once you’ve beaten him, but I’ll go with the pedigree and that’s Abraham, although Stieglitz will have home town advantage this time which may help him.

“I was gutted when I couldn’t take on Stieglitz last year as I’m confident I would have beaten him as Abraham went on to do and I’d be the world champion now, but my time will come.

“Last year was a tough one with injuries although I got in two valuable learning fights, a good win in America that enhanced my reputation and fan base and then probably the best win of my career over the experienced Glen Johnson in December.

“This is a great start to the year for me with a European title fight and then a potential world title fight next. The super-middleweight division is stacked with talent and I’m eager to get in the mix.”

Groves v Ndiaye features as chief-support on a card joint-headlined by WBO lightweight champion Ricky Burns’ unification showdown against IBF champion Miguel Vazquez and WBO light-heavyweight champion Nathan Cleverly’s title defence against Robin Krasniqi.

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