Amateur star George 'The Saint' Groves made his professional debut last night, impressively dominating a six-rounder against Kirill Pshonko. A former two-time Senior ABA champion, Groves used all his sound foundations and textbook skills to outbox and outpunch Pshonko for every moment of the six rounds.
Unable to budge or seriously hurt the Latvian, Groves settled down and picked his punches superbly. His jab was sharp and effective and his punch-picking was a joy to behold. Sensing Pshonko was there for the long stretch, Groves realised he'd have to work openings behind a solid lead and well-placed body shots. He did just that.
Although the knockout didn't come, Groves will be delighted with the way he controlled the pace and flow of the six rounds. Ordinarily pro debutants cover four rounds on their first start - Groves did six and didn't for one moment look out of place. As his man strength and ring savvy increases, he'll find ways to unlock the kind of cagey Eastern Europeans that will no doubt litter the early stages of his pro career.
Ratings - World: 3/1,279
Ratings - British: 2/52
Residence: London, UK
Won: 25 (KO18)
Rounds Boxed: 176