Groves under a cloud
George Groves has seen his latest attempt to impress America dashed by injury and volcanic ash.
By Tim Hobbs
Last Updated: 23/04/10 2:45pm
George Groves has seen his Las Vegas dream dashed again.
The Hayemaker prodigy was due to box on the undercard of Floyd Mayweather's megafight with Shane Mosley at the MGM Grand on Saturday, May 1.
But a combination of the volcanic ash cloud and an untimely injury have prevented the recently-crowned Commonwealth super-middleweight champion making first American appearance as a professional.
And it is not the first time events beyond his control have denied Groves a dream debut across the pond.
"It seemed like it was done and dusted - pardon the pun - but Adam (Booth) phoned last week and said it was off because of this ash cloud everyone keeps talking about!" he told skysports.com.
"I don't know what I've done to upset Mother Nature but I was supposed to be on the Shane Mosley-Andre Berto card but that fell through because of the earthquake in Haiti and Berto's links there.
"That was terrible obviously, and now it seems like nature is taking its same chaotic course to stop me pulling on my shorts Stateside."
Groves has also picked up what he describes as a "slight shoulder strain" sparring with Carl Froch ahead of this weekend's Super Six showdown with Mikkel Kessler.
It means he will be unable to immediately build on his impressive stoppage of Charles Adamu at the MEN Arena as chief support to David Haye's destruction of John Ruiz.
But Hayemaker's ties with Golden Boy Promotions are likely to see the 22-year-old Londoner head west sooner rather than later.
"I've already been promised a place on the Juan Manuel Marquez bill on July 31 at the Mandalay Bay, so you think you miss a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and then another one crops up a month or two later," he said.
"Or maybe without knowing it, I'm holding out for a spot on the Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao undercard! Maybe nothing less will do!
"Golden Boy have been really supportive. They get on well with David obviously, but they've identified me as a talent who, although I've got a long way to go, can hopefully travel over there and take support like say Ricky Hatton has done.
"If they think I have the potential to take 15,000 fans out there and make them a load of money, that's great. Hopefully one day I will be that well-known to make my mark Stateside."
Groves, who has won his first nine fights as a pro, had been looking forward to taking his place at ringside to see if Mosley can become the first man in 41 attempts to condemn Mayweather to defeat.
Instead he will have to tune in to Sky Sports in the early hours of Sunday morning to witness the biggest fight of the year so far.
Groves admits it will be a close call but expects Mayweather to prevail and keep his unbeaten record in tact.
"It's speed versus speed," he said. "You'd never say Mosley was washed up, but we thought he'd seen his best days until he absolutely smashed Antonio Margarito all over the place - someone Miguel Cotto had struggled with.
"Mayweather is a natural-born winner, and he has a knack. Speed will be the key and I make him slightly faster and he has a tighter defence, so you would have to go with him.
"Hopefully it will be a fantastic fight; it will either be sensational or it could be a real bore - and if it's a real bore, then Mayweather definitely wins.
"But when I'm watching it I won't be able to get away from thinking I could've been at ringside."