Groves survives Anderson war
George floored on Haye undercard
For once the normally unflappable Adam Booth looked irate in the Groves corner as he implored with his man to stop slugging.
George Groves' all-British showdown with James DeGale looks some way off after he had to come back from being floored to beat Kenny Anderson in his Commonwealth super-middleweight fight.
Groves was punished time and again for displaying a non-existent defence and if he is to face DeGale and his lightning fast hands then he will have to learn quickly.
In the first two rounds there was no hint of the war that was to follow as the Londoner kept his distance landing combinations. Anderson looked crude and over-eager but he was soon to find his rhythm.
By the third Groves was becoming more reckless trading with his Scottish opponent with his hands dropped by his waist. Whether it was over-confidence or carelessness he was taught a painful lesson as he was caught by a number of right hands and pushed back onto the ropes.
Anderson landed with his trademark right forcing Groves to hang on then put him on the canvas for the first time in his professional career with a short left hook. Luckily for the Hammersmith fighter, the bell sounded soon afterwards as a shock defeat looked on the cards.
Anderson had promised the fight would be man against boy and at this point his prediction seemed accurate. For once the normally unflappable Adam Booth was irate in the corner as he implored his man to stop slugging.
Unfortunately for Booth, Groves didn't appear to be taking much notice in the fifth as Anderson continued to march forward throwing clubbing combinations. But there was a breakthrough for the Londoner as he landed a couple of body shots that stopped his opponent in his tracks.
Booth's words of caution seemed to get Groves' attention in the sixth as he boxed at distance and used the whole of the ring to keep Anderson at bay. All of a sudden the man from Edinburgh looked tired, ponderous on his feet.
At Friday's weigh-in Anderson was tight at the limit and that seemed to prove the turning point. Learning from his early success Groves attacked the body and turned the fight firmly in his favour. Suddenly the Scot appeared fragile and there for the taking.
While Groves may have highlighted the flaws in his fledgling career he did at least remind everyone why he is rated so highly by finishing the contest impressively. He quickly unleashed a catalogue of sickening body blows that will have had the watching Ricky Hatton nodding in approval and the fight was waved off.
This is a fight that Groves will want to forget but it is unlikely to slip the mind of his talkative rival DeGale. It is also a firm indication that he still has a lot to learn if he is to compete on the world stage in 2011.