Undefeated George 'The Saint' Groves claimed an emphatic points win against former world champion Glen Johnson at the ExCeL Arena in London on Saturday night.
Taking a complete shut-out on two of the three judges scorecards, the unbeaten West Londoner controlled proceedings from start to finish, even knocking down the famously durable Johnson in the 12th and final round.
Groves started brightly in the first, working behind the jab and moving well before connecting with an excellent right hand and unloading a barrage of shots towards the end of the round.
But Johnson stood firm, the Jamaican veteran is known for being a tough nut to crack, having only ever been stopped once in a 70 fight career - on his feet against Bernard Hopkins - and he showed his customary steely resolve against Groves, soaking up the 24 year-old's best shots between rounds 2-5.
The sixth saw better work from Johnson as the former world champion started to let his hands go more, landing with a number of right hands over the low Groves left. However, the Hammersmith man never looked troubled and the more aggressive work from Johnson actually played into the Saint's hands, allowing Groves to counter and land flush for the first time in the fight - a beautifully timed right cross that stunned and hurt Johnson, though the Jamaican rode the storm to the bell.
The second half of the fight followed a similar pattern, with Groves comfortably in control throughout, though Johnson never looked like folding. That was until, an exciting final round saw Groves drop his man to the canvas. The road Warrior soon rose to his feet though to see out another brave 12 round defeat - Groves taking a one-sided decision by scores of 120-107, 120-107, 119-109 to register his 16th straight win as a professional.
The veteran Johnson, 43, is a former IBF & IBO light-heavyweight champion, who holds wins over the likes of Antonio Tarver and Roy Jones Jnr, and Groves admitted the fight provided great experience.
"I'm very happy with it and I've learnt a lot from that fight", said Groves.
"He is a great fighter and exactly what I needed at this stage of my career.
"At times he outfoxed and ‘old-manned’ me but it was about getting back to my boxing. I showed my skill.
“I know they don’t all crumble easily, especially Glen.
"On more than one occasion I thought he was out on his feet and he wasn't. I fully understand why he's only been stopped once in 71 fights now.
“Now I’m not far off a world title shot if the right challenge is put in front of me.”