Groves Dominates Gutknecht
George Groves — ranked No. 3 by the WBA, No. 4 by the WBC and WBO and No. 9 by the IBF — moved one step closer to a fourth world title shot in his career, as he defeated Eduard Gutknecht in London on Friday night.
Gutknecht hit Groves hard in the face during the opening round, but Groves managed to get into a groove and implement his strategy of using a jab to set up the right hand. The second round saw more of one-two combinations from both sides. Groves fell to the canvas in the final minute, but it was not ruled a knockdown. Groves almost went down again in the round, but was able to survive.
Gutknecht increased pressure in the third to produce a round where both competitors had moments, and Gutknecht even got the champ on the ropes. Unfortunately for him, Groves caught him with a hook to the head in the fourth, rocking him. Groves went in for the kill and stoppage, but his punches lacked accuracy, and Gutknecht managed to survive.
The fifth round saw Groves implement a new strategy — waiting on Gutknecht to lunge in and then throw a counterpunch. Groves seemed to be getting a bit tired. The sixth round was much closer, with Gutknecht starting to utilize reach, but Groves starting to land body blows. From the seventh round on, however, the rounds became all Groves, as Gutknecht started landing less and less. The ninth also saw a cut form around one of Gutknecht’s eyes, and his eye looked just about completely shut by the end of the tenth. Gutknecht was almost stopped in the last rounds, but resilience helped him prevent a loss by stoppage.
But resilience wouldn’t be enough to stop Groves, however, who won by unanimous decision with scorecards of 119-110, 119-109 and 119-109.