George ‘The Saint’ Groves has confirmed he will challenge for the WBA Super-middleweight World title in 2017 against former champion Fedor Chudinov.
An excellent 2016 has seen the Saint register four straight wins, including a WBA eliminator against Martin Murray that has put him in position to challenge for the title. The WBA have now ordered a fight between Groves and former champion Fedor Chudinov for the vacant Super world title.
Felix Sturm previously held the title, having controversially beaten Chudinov for it, however the German vacated the belt earlier this year due to injury.
Groves admitted to being delighted at the news and is now hoping to confirm the date and location of the bout. "I want it in London, it's where I want to finally become a world champion," Groves told Sky Sports.
"I know we'll see 8,000-10,000 and so many people couldn't make it or afford to get out to Vegas for the last one and I know so many people want to be there for this one.
"This is no undercard fight because you can see people still want to come and watch me. Chudinov came over here to defend his title against Frank Buglioni, so I am sure he will be happy to come over.
"I am sure we will come to an agreement and I reckon we are looking at March. I like March and Chudinov is Russian and I know their Christmas is a little bit later than ours, so I can't see him being in a huge rush. It means there is time for it all to settle and then start building it up and selling it. London and March work well for me.”
"Chudinov has had a bit of a stop-start career," Groves added. "Look at his record and he's only had 15 fights but he has obviously been a world champion in that time and we saw his brother come over here to fight Chris Eubank Jr, so we know he is a good, technical, strong, typical Russian fighter.
"It won't be easy by any stretch but I've had such a good year and it has all been building to this moment and this fight with Chudinov. I feel the fights I've had have been the ideal preparation for Chudinov.
"His people have already been in touch but of course, you are always waiting for the official news and the serious negotiations start once the WBA announce their decision formally but we've been in contact over the last few weeks and we knew it was going to take place.
"I am excited and I've got a spring in my step for Christmas which is nice. I picked up a big turkey roll this morning and stopped and put it back down!"
The full final press conference for the fight between George Groves and Eduard Gutknecht at the SSE Arena, Wembley, this Friday November 18th, live on Channel 5.
Ratings - World: 3/1,279
Ratings - British: 2/52
Residence: London, UK
Won: 25 (KO18)
Rounds Boxed: 176