Rebounding from consecutive loses to IBF and WBA super middleweight champion Carl Froch, George “The Saint” Groves dominated Christopher Rebrasse over 12 rounds to win the European super middleweight championship by unanimous decision at the Wembley Arena in London, England Saturday night.
The scores were 118-110, 117-111,118-110.
Maxboxing and Doghouseboxing had Groves the winner 118-110.
Groves (20-2, 15 KOs) began the bout aggressively. He pumped out his jab and landed a number of combinations. Rebrasse, the taller fighter by an inch, was mostly on the defensive. By the end of the round, Rebrasse was fighting off his back foot.
In rounds two and three, Groves continued to outwork his opponent. He added a number of uppercuts to his arsenal. Rebrasse went to the body, but quicker Groves had already found his rhythm.
Rebrasse (22-3-3, 6 KOs) tried to change the momentum of the bout in round four. He landed a short hook, but he’s not much of a puncher. Near the end of the round, it was Groves who again was landing the harder blows.
Groves had won the first four rounds, but had used up a lot of energy. He didn’t seem worried as he went right back to work in round five. Rebrasse jumped in with a left hook that surprised him.
Rebrasse chipped away in rounds six and seven.
But Groves, 26, was still a step ahead.
Both fighters showed off their defensive abilities as well. They used their gloves to parry punches--while Groves was rarely a stationary target.
Groves was busier in rounds eight and nine. Rebrasse, 28, found Groves with a couple of sneaky shots. Groves landed a sharp combination while Rebrasse languished on the ropes. connected.
Rebrasse motioned to Groves to bring it on. Groves obliged by connecting with a triple hook.
In rounds 10 and 11, Groves, though way ahead on the judges’ scorecards, unloaded more heavy artillery on Rebrasse, but the Frenchmen’s chin held up.
Advised by trainer Patty Fitzgerald to box in the last round, Groves did as he was told. Rebrasse landed a few punches, but none of them hurt Groves. By the end of the fight he was gassed.
Unofficial punch tallies showed that Groves had thrown over 900 punches.
“It’s great to be back,“ said Groves in the ring. “I felt good. Rebrasse is a good fighter. I want to thank all the fans who came out tonight”
With the win, Groves is now in line for a shot at WBA super middleweight champion Anthony Dirrell.
Frank Buglioni (14-1, 11 KOs)
14 miles away from Wembley Arena at York Hall, Popular Frank Buglioni (14-1, 11 KOs) stopped gutsy Bulgarian Alexey Ribchev (18-11, 6 KOs) in round six.
Buglioni, working with Irish hero Steve Collins and his brother Pascal for the first time, used a long jab and a hard right to wear his opponent down. He also went to the body effectively. Ribchev caught Buglioni with a couple of left hooks, but the Enfield fighter absorbed them well.
In round six, the ringside physician stopped the contest due to bad cut over the left eye of Ribchev.
Ribchev didn’t complain.
The time was 2:11.
“I felt good in there,” said Buglioni. “I made some little adjustments. It’s going to take time.”