David Haye may now be the reigning king of the world after his epic bout in Nuremberg on November 7th, but it was our boy from Hammersmith who set the mood for a night of celebration for the Hayemaker stable by storming to victory over his Belarus opponent, picking up his seventh professional victory with a unanimous points decision.
Facing Belarus' number 1, Makhankov has 15 wins (5 KO) to his name, with 18 losses but has only ever been stopped once, four years ago, against knockout specialist Victor Oganov, so an interesting match for Groves.
The Saint teed off on Makhankov many times over, but the Belarrusian managed to close up and keep him at bay. A badly swollen left eye showed that Groves did get through, his right usually doing the damage.
The first two rounds were lively but scrappy as Groves went on the offensive only to find himself wrapped up in clinches with the referee as busy as either fighter. But by the third George, true to form, had figured out his range and started throwing punches from all angles, not least a lovely right uppercut that got through in the middle of the round.
The same punch rocked Makhankov in the fifth and suggested he might finally succumb but again, he rode the storm and saw out the round. The last two followed the same pattern to prove that Saint George had outclassed and outwitted Konstantin Makhankov over eight rounds and all three judges scored it 80-72 his way.
Speaking after his impressive win George said, "This evening was about coming out here and working on the stuff we did in the gym. They found me a durable opponent, a good fighter, so it was never my intention to try and load up and take him out. I've been out here all week with David and got involved in a bit of the hype. But the main thing was not to get caught up in it all because it's new to me."
Ratings - World: 3/1,279
Ratings - British: 2/52
Residence: London, UK
Won: 25 (KO18)
Rounds Boxed: 176