His retirement didn’t last long. Former IBF light heavyweight champion Glen Johnson will face Commonwealth super middleweight champion George Groves on December 15 at London’s ExCeL Arena. Groves’ promoter Frank Warren confirmed today that Groves and the Jamaican-born Miami-based Johnson will feature as chief support on the multi-title card headlined by WBO world lightweight champion Ricky Burns.
The Hammersmith southpaw Groves is unbeaten in 15 fights, but sees Johnson as the toughest and most exciting fight of his career so far that has already seen him beat the best of British in James DeGale and Paul Smith. Due to injuries Groves, 24, has only fought once this year, but he managed to put in action packed performance in California in July that saw him stop tough Mexican Francisco Sierra in six rounds that sent his stock soaring Stateside.
“Johnson is a great name and it will be a fantastic fight to end the year with before looking at a world title shot next year,” said Groves.
“He’s a true warrior and will come to fight and in no way am I expecting an easy night’s work against him. I’ll be training my guts out for this fight and it could turn into a brutal and bloody war, one that the fans will relish,”
“He’s had 70 fights with 35 knockouts and is a massive step up for me in just my sixteenth fight, a win against him would be great on my record. One things for sure, the fans and BoxNation viewers are in for a thrilling fight on December 15th,”
The legendary Bernard Hopkins is the first and only man to stop Johnson over 15 years ago and since then, amongst others, he’s taken world champions Chad Dawson and Carl Froch the full distance.
Groves knows he faces a huge task, but would love to be the first man since Hopkins to stop the Road Warrior.
He continued, “The man is like a tank coming forward all the time and I’ll need to pull out some big bombs if I’m going to stop him. Top men like Froch and Dawson, plus Antonio Tarver and Clinton Woods couldn’t halt him so it’s a tall order, but I’m confident in my abilities and if I can be the first since Hopkins to stop him then it will send a strong message out to the 168 pound world champions that I’m coming for them,”
Warren added, “It’s a very tough fight for George. Johnson has been around, seen it and done it in a near twenty year career so he’ll have bags of experience compared to George. But George is young, fresh, talented and hungry and really wants to prove that he’s the next world champion in waiting. I think that the fans will be for a cracking fight between these two, plus we’ll be announcing Ricky Burns’ challenger shortly.”