Groves eyes Battle of Britain with world champion Froch after he conquers veteran Johnson
14:36 GMT, 11 December 2012
George Groves believes a convincing win over veteran Glen Johnson on Saturday will catapult him into an all-British showdown with super-middleweight rival Carl Froch.
Groves, 24, has been drawn into a war of words on Twitter with the IBF world champion and his promoter Eddie Hearn with the latter claiming the Londoner would not last three rounds with the 35-year-old.
But Groves insists an emphatic victory over Johnson will prove he belongs at the elite level.
London calling: George Groves will take on veteran fighter Glen Johnson at the Excel Centre in the Docklands on Saturday
‘It’s kind of sweet that Carl and Eddie threw their toys out of the pram,’ he said.
‘I think I am a threat and everyone will know that after Saturday; people will sit up and take note and see that I’m in the mix.
‘Glen has boxed everyone and he doesn’t get stopped but that doesn’t mean he won’t get stopped on Saturday. I plan to beat him impressively and convincingly. I’m looking to move into world class boxing and this is the right move for me.
‘I’m going to need to find answers that I haven’t had to find previously and I know I can do it.’
Groves has fought just once in 2012 having twice seen a rematch with Scot Kenny Anderson, and a world title challenge against Robert Stieglitz, called off through injury.
The Cobra: Groves wants an all-British showdown with Carl Froch
His sole outing this year saw him stop Francisco Sierra in the sixth round in California in July but a nasty cut has kept him out of action until now.
‘I’ve had a frustrating year and not boxed as much as I wanted but I’m going to cap it off with a great win against a great boxer,’ Groves added.
‘Glen Johnson has been a great fighter for a long time and this is a step up to world class level.’
Johnson, 43, has lost his last three fights, including challenges for Froch and Lucian Bute’s respective world titles, and announced his retirement following a points defeat to Andrzej Fonfara in Chicago in July.
But having backtracked on that decision, he will fight for the 71st time as a professional on his fifth visit to these shores.
A former light-heavyweight world champion, Johnson shocked Roy Jones Jnr in 2004 before recording a similarly sensational victory over Antonio Tarver three months later.
He has failed to hear the final bell just once, against Bernard Hopkins in 1997, and plans to re-launch his career once again with victory on Saturday.
‘I’m here to win,’ he said. ‘George Groves is a talented guy but I’m here to take care of business and move on.’