George Groves exhibited all his maturity, ring generalship and punch selection to record a fine stoppage win over Romaric Hignard of France. Perhaps enjoying the loudest roar of the night from the jam-packed York Hall, Groves entered the ring to a din usually saved for big title nights. In this instance, it was only Groves’ second pro fight.
Scheduled for six rounds, Groves’ punch-picking and timing was always likely to cut this entertaining rendezvous short. It was no surprise, therefore, that Groves, a rangy super-middleweight with a spiteful jab, took control from the off. Displaying his physical strength in the clinch – often pushing Hignard over – Groves was simply too strong, too sharp and too fresh for the overwhelmed Frenchman.
At times, Groves left-jab was a revelation. Appearing to carry the power of a right hand, Groves would often snap back the head of Hignard with just the use of his left lead. It was a punch that not only set up further attacks and helped dictate the pace, but also was one that was hurting Hignard and visibly shaking him.
Perhaps even more impressive was Groves’ judging of distance and range, ensuring that he remained in a position to throw shots at all times, whether going forwards or backwards. When he was in range to punch, he’d punch. Then in an instant he’d be out of range, remaining clean of any response from Hignard.
Groves’ in-ring discipline allowed him to manoeuvre Hignard how he liked and effectively boss him around in the first round. Such was Groves’ speed and precision, Hignard found himself on the deck twice in the opener.
The domination continued through the second and third rounds as Groves stepped up the pace and began to introduce his powerful right hand. Whereas the left-jab was snapping back the head of Hignard, the right hand was threatening to disconnect it from its senses.
A series of right hands against the ropes saw Hignard become increasingly unsteady on his legs, and both Groves and the referee realised the end was nigh. Groves went in for the kill, and the referee had seen enough. Overpowered as he hauled himself up from another knockdown, Hignard was stopped as he got to his feet.
The imposing performance marked the second win of Groves’ pro career and also the first knockout win. He moves to 2-0 (1 KO).
Ratings - World: 3/1,279
Ratings - British: 2/52
Residence: London, UK
Won: 25 (KO18)
Rounds Boxed: 176