George ‘The Saint’ Groves dropped a split decision after a spirited challenge for Badou Jack's WBC world super-middleweight title in Las Vegas on Saturday night.
Fighting on the undercard of pound for pound number 1 Floyd Mayweather's final fight, it was the Mayweather promoted fighter, Badou Jack, who won a close decision on the judges scorecards at the MGM Grand.
The 27-year-old from Hammersmith survived a first-round knockdown and rallied to take control in the middle rounds before a close finish in Jack’s first defense of the WBC super middleweight title. Two ringside judges scored it to Jack by scores of 116-111 and 115-112, while a third had it 114-113 to the Saint.
"Firstly I would like to thank everyone who showed me so much support for the fight last week, especially the British fans who travelled out for it", said Groves.
"Ultimately it doesn't matter how you lose a world title fight, the feeling is much the same. I lost a split decision as the challenger away from home after being knocked down in the very first round.
"I came very close to achieving a lifelong goal but it wasn't to be. I'm now going to spend some time with my family and decide upon my future."
Groves' promoter Kalle Sauerland said: "After the worst of starts George showed not only skill but immense bravery to a split point decision which could easily have gone for him, certainly had the fight been on home turf.
"Fighting away from home was always going to be the case as challenger but I still feel some of the scoring was out. He won many fans on the other side of the pond and showed again that he belongs at world level.
"We will sit together as a team in the coming weeks to plot the best path."
Promo for the WBC world super-middleweight title fight between George Groves and Badou Jack, that will take place on the undercard of Mayweather v Berto in Las Vegas on Sept 12th.
Ratings - World: 9/975
Ratings - British: 3/63
Residence: London, UK
Won: 21 (KO16)
Rounds Boxed: 143