George Groves, 30, announced his retirement on Monday, having held No 1 status in the world in the super middleweight division in the last year of his career.
That ended in Jeddah last September, when Londoner Groves was defeated in the final of the World Boxing Super Series by Callum Smith. Groves ends his 10-year career with a record of 28 victories and four losses. All four defeats were in world-title fights. Two of those were against Carl Froch, the rematch drawing 80,000 fans to Wembley Stadium, the other in Las Vegas against Badou Jack on the main card of Floyd Mayweather’s 50th fight.
In the Londoner’s fourth world title challenge, in 2017, Groves defeated Fedor Chudinov to claim the World Boxing Association super middleweight crown.
“After four attempts I fulfilled my childhood dream, and the experience was as great as I had always imagined it would be. It was without doubt the best moment of my career,” Groves said . “After taking a little time to reflect on the recent events in my career, I have decided that it is time for me to retire as a professional fighter.”
Groves, who had three trainers, did not mention long-term trainer Adam Booth, but said that meeting Shane McGuigan, son of former world featherweight king Barry McGuigan, had been “the turning point” in his career.
“He was the missing piece I needed to fulfil my full potential. Without him I don’t know if I would have ever got there. As a trainer, Shane gave me the spark back, got me in the best shape of my life and, with his unwavering dedication, helped me become the No 1 recognised fighter in the division,” Groves said.
Groves, who had a fine jab, with a powerful right hand, allied to self-belief and dedication to his craft, was also a quirky character, who was fascinated by aliens, and intent on writing a sitcom. But he has read the signs well.
“Lastly a prayer for Eduard Gutknecht who suffered a brain aneurysm after our fight in November 2016. He was put into an induced coma for three weeks and bravely fought his way back to consciousness. He lives in Germany with his wife, three children and a full-time carer. This fight brought home the realisation that boxing can have brutal consequences. After this, I truly felt like my fighting days were numbered,” added Groves.
“After winning the WBA world title I decided to only continue fighting while it felt necessary. After the birth of my second son last year and losing in the final of the WBSS, I knew the desire to fight had left me. Retiring at 30 was a suggestion I first heard 10 years ago. I thought it was a good idea then and I still do now.”