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Groves: Former WBA world super-middleweight champion retires

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Former WBA world super-middleweight champion George Groves has announced his retirement from boxing.Groves, 30, lost his world title to fellow Briton Callum Smith in the World Boxing Super Series final in September.

It was his 32nd bout in an 11-year professional career and in announcing his retirement Groves said he “knew the desire to fight had left” him.He said: “I don’t want there to be a time where I’m ‘too old’ to box, or where injury retires me.”

In a statement, Groves offered “a prayer” for Eduard Gutknecht, who suffered a brain aneurysm after their fight in 2016, leaving him unable to walk or talk.

“This fight brought home the realisation that boxing can have brutal consequences,” Groves added. “After this, I truly felt like my fighting days were numbered. After winning the WBA world title I decided to only continue fighting while it felt necessary.”

Groves scored a stoppage win over Russia’s Fedor Chudinov in May of 2017, ending a much publicised wait for a world title.

The Hammersmith fighter had lost twice to Carl Froch in pursuit of a world belt and in 2015 fell to a narrow split-points defeat at the hands of Sweden’s Badou Jack in Las Vegas.Defeat by Smith when defending his world title for a third time means Groves’ only career defeats have all come in world title contests.

“After four attempts I finally fulfilled my childhood dream, and the experience was as great as I had always imagined it would be,” Groves added. “It was without doubt the best moment of my career.

“Boxing has been good to me and I believe I have been good for boxing. I hope I have entertained you all; I have always strived to be the best fighter I can be.”

Groves’ record contains wins over the likes of James DeGale, Paul Smith, Martin Murray and notably Chris Eubank Jr, where he scored a gutsy points win despite dislocating his shoulder in the final round.But it was his rivalry with Froch which launched him into the public consciousness.

Groves antagonised the then IBF and WBA world super-middleweight champion in 2013 and floored him early in their contest, only to fall to a ninth-round defeat many felt was stopped too early by referee Howard Foster.

Demand for a rematch allowed the pair to set a then British record in selling 80,000 seats in 2014 in a first fight at Wembley Stadium since Frank Bruno beat Oliver McCall at the venue’s previous incarnation in 1995.

Groves lost the second meeting in a comprehensive eighth-round knockout and ultimately had to wait a further eight fights until he became a world champion.

“In my darkest and hardest times, it has been other people’s energy and enthusiasm that has kept me focused and determined to achieve my dreams,” added Groves.”Over the years I have seen and sadly known the dangers of the sport, and I want to respectfully bow out while I’m at the top of my game.

“I’ve learned that doesn’t always mean coming off the back of a win. I’ve boxed at the highest level, all over the world, I’ve been a champion, and I’ll be leaving the sport (relatively!) intact.”

The former European, British, and Commonwealth super-middleweight champion says he will now focus on a new role as an adviser for the organisation which has guided his career while continuing to follow a “new interest of motivational speaking”.

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