Undefeated British & Commonwealth Super-middleweight champion George ‘The Saint’ Groves produced an explosive performance to destroy experienced former champion Paul Smith inside two rounds at Wembley Arena.
The Saint had promised fireworks in the build up to the fight and that's exactly what he delivered, brutally knocking out Smith after just a minute and 18 seconds of round two. The 23 year-old was back in action for the first time since his superb victory over old foe James DeGale in May, defending the British title he won that night alongside his Commonwealth strap. And the West Londoner was met with a raptuous reception as he entered the ring, cheered on by his ever growing army of fans.
A tentative first round saw both men feel their way into the fight, Groves controlling things with his excellent jab. Smith did connect with a good right at the end of the round, catching the Saint just before the bell. That only seemed to serve as a wake up call for Groves though as he started brightly in the second, before landing a thunderous right hand that saw Smith crumple to the canvas.
The tough Liverpudlian rose bravely to his feet, but Groves
ruthlessly followed up with another punishing right to send Smith crashing to the floor again and forcing referee Victor loughlin to rightly call a halt to the contest.
"It was about using my sharp, front foot and my jab", Groves said after the fight.
"I am maturing and hitting harder. These guys are getting bashed up pretty quick."
David Haye, Groves' friend and former training partner, said: "I was over the moon, ecstatic.
"He's starting to do what he does in the gym in the ring.
"Paul Smith is a durable fighter but you saw how he was despatched."