In what wasn’t a vintage  performance by any stretch of the imagination, super middleweight contender George Groves (21-2, 16KO’s) scored a technical knock out victory against over matched opponent Denis Douglin (17-4, 10KO’s) this evening in Liverpool.

The fight started with Groves tentatively struggling to find his range against the crude southpaw, with Douglin looking to mix it up on the inside to great effect. The first and third round undoubtedly belonged to the American, as Groves looked a shadow of the fighter that ran Carl Froch so close in their first encounter last year.

A chopping shot from Douglin opened up a cut on the bridge of the nose of Groves in the first quarter of the fight and at that point it seemed the European champion was in for a long tough night ahead.

After a somewhat stern word in the corner from trainer Paddy Fitzpatrick, the Hammersmith banger stepped up his game, putting together some clean combinations and single shots which lead him to claim the next three rounds before ultimately forcing his opponent to succumb to his pressure. The relief on the face of his promoter Kalle Sauerland was a picture to behold.

At 2.54 of round seven, referee Victor Loughlin stepped in on the contest, after the Hammersmith man laid a sustained beating upon his opponent in the American’s own corner.

Groves retained his WBC silver super middleweight title, defending his position as the number one contender to WBC champion Anthony Dirrell and a prospective match upon tentatively penciled in for the first few months in 2015.

From his performance this evening, it was evident Groves needs a rest after the fight. Following on from a sickneing knock out defeat to Carl Froch in May of this year and a tough war in his next fight back against European champion Christophe Rebrasse in September.