Tommy Barber – London
The main event on Frank Warren’s March 16 card at Wembley Arena in west London may be a short-lived one as both combatants – defending British super middleweight champion George Groves and challenger Kenny Anderson – have claimed they intend to knock each other out. The England versus Scotland encounter is a rematch of a 2010 tussle where Saint George kissed the canvas before laying leather on Anderson’s smacker, stopping the Scotsman in six.
“Anderson is a tough fighter,” noted Groves (14-0-0, 11ko), who won the Lonsdale belt due to his majority decision triumph over long-time rival James DeGale before making a successful defence against Paul Smith in a jaw-dropping second round knockout. He continued: “I’ve come on since we last fought and I can’t see him going as far as the sixth round this time… he’ll go earlier.
“I’m expecting a tough fight, I’m not underestimating him and he’s going to want to prove that the last time was a mistake. I’ve beaten DeGale and Smith and now I’ve got to beat Anderson before I move onto the next level.”
Anderson (15-1-0, 11ko), who retired John Rea and teekayoed both Lee Duncan and Paul Morby to manoeuvre himself into mandatory position, echoed Groves’ sentiment, but stated it will be he whose arm is raised when the fight reaches it’s swift conclusion. “It really hurt when he beat me, but I’ve got myself into the mandatory position and got the fight with Groves again.”
The 29-year-old from Edinburgh has the benefit of enjoying a full training camp to prepare for Groves as, in 2010, he was a late replacement, provided just 17 days to get into shape for what was then his most significant battle. Revenge has not been a word mentioned by the tough 168lber, but the man is determined to level the score.
“I can’t see this fight going all the way… with the way me and Groves fight it’s going to be an early for one of us but I’m going to make sure it’s not me. It will be a hard fight, but I know what I did wrong last time and I’ve rectified the mistakes, this time I’ll be coming away the winner.”
Promoter Frank Warren commented: “This is a fight that the public want to see again and I’m delighted that we’ve got it on and it will be live on BoxNation. I promote George and of course I will be looking for him to come through this fight and we’ll have something big lined up for him next.”
Providing the chief support for the event is former British light middleweight king Sam Webb (17-2-0, 5ko) who takes on hard-hitting Matthew Hall (24-4-0, 16ko), a former incumbent of the Commonwealth crown, in an eliminator for the British title currently held by Brian Rose.
Also in action on the London card is fast-rising middleweight prospect Billy Joe Saunders (12-0-0, 8ko), former amateur standout Frank Buglioni (2-0-0, 2ko) and rangy, unbeaten welterweight Bradley Skeete (6-0-0, 2ko). Irish 27-year-old Dean Byrne completes the show but his opponent is yet to be determined.
The undercard features unbeaten Hatfield middleweight Billly Joe Saunders; hot prospect Frank Buglioni from Enfield; welterweight Dean Byrne (15-1-0, 6ko) from Mile End and Penge welterweight Bradley Skeete.