George Groves will defend his WBA International super middleweight title against Eduard Gutknecht over a scheduled 12 rounds at Wembley Arena in London on Friday, November 18.
Third-ranked by the WBA, 28-year-old Groves has fought out of his native Hammersmith, London, since 2008 (24-3, 18 KOs). “Saint George” won the then-vacant belt this April by knocking out previously unbeaten David Brophy in the fourth. He successfully defended two months later, beating Martin Murray by unanimous decision. Groves’ most recent loss came in September 2015, Badou Jack successfully defending his WBC World super middleweight title by split decision. Groves’ other two losses came courtesy of Carl Froch, who both times successfully defended his WBA and IBF World super middleweight belts, first by ninth-round TKO in November 2013, then by eight-round TKO six months later.
“I’m extremely happy to announce this fight and am excited to be headlining on Channel 5,” Groves says. “I have been fortunate in my boxing career so far to experience almost everything the sport has to offer, but to be fighting live on terrestrial TV is something that has always been very high up on my bucket list.
“It goes without saying that I am now determined to challenge again, and this time succeed, in becoming a world champion. I feel that working alongside Cyclone Promotions for this fight, as well as with my promoters Team Sauerland, with the opportunity to be back headlining in front of a home crowd close to West London, is the perfect move for me—especially with the chance to showcase myself to a larger audience.”
“This is a must-win fight for George,” says Grove trainer Shane McGuigan. “We’ve worked extremely hard this year, and November 18 is a chance for George to make another important step towards becoming a world champion. Eduard Gutknecht is a proven operator who we cannot afford to take lightly. Eddy has a high-punch output and is extremely durable, so we are preparing for 12 hard rounds.”
Fighting out of Germany by way of Kazakhstan since 2006, 34-year-old Gutknecht (30-4-1, 13 KOs) has won several regional and minor titles, most recently the then-vacant WBA Inter-Continental light heavyweight strap in June 2013 by beating Richard Vidal via unanimous decision. He’s twice challenged for a world title, losing out on the WBO World super middleweight belt to Robert Stieglitz, who won by unanimous decision in April 2010, and the WBA World light heavyweight title to Juergen Braehmer, who also won by unanimous decision, this March. Iron-chinned, “Energy Eddy” has only been stopped once, in November 2013, Dmitry Sukhotsky retiring him in the fourth. He last fought this June, knocking out Artem Redko in the third.
“I will come to London on November 18 full of energy, and conquer,” Gutknecht says. “I only want to fight winners and make them lose. George Groves is a winner and a world-class fighter, but so am I. The fans in London are in for a hell of a fight.”
This article was penned by the author who is not related to the WBA and the statements, expressions or opinions referenced herein are that of the author alone and not the WBA.