George Groves believes he can stop former world champion Glencoffe Johnson in their Commonwealth super-middleweight title clash this weekend.
Johnson has faced a number of top fighters, including Bernard Hopkins and Britain’s world champion Carl Froch, and he pulled off a shock win over American superstar Roy Jones in 2004.
His defeats include only one stoppage, which came in the 11th round against the much-decorated Hopkins 15 years ago.
But Hammersmith’s defending champion believes he can beat Johnson inside the distance in Saturday’s fight at the ExCel Arena.
Groves, 24, said: “Clearly Glencoffe knows how to survive, even if he doesn’t come to survive.
“Stopping him would make a huge statement. I do expect to stop him but don’t expect him to just fall over.”
A victory would keep Groves on course for a world title shot next year.
The super-middleweight division contains some outstanding fighters, not least the highly-regarded American Andre Ward, who holds the WBC and WBA titles.
Rugged German Arthur Abraham has the WBO belt and is very much on Groves’ radar, while IBF champion Froch is still going strong.
“I’d love a crack at Carl. He’s been such a great champion and I’ve so much respect for him,” said Groves.
“He’s said he only wants a few more fights and I’d love to be one of them. That would be a huge fight for Britain – and I’d fight Arthur Abraham anywhere, any day of the week.
“Andre Ward is the elite of the division – the best by some way. Ideally, I’d prefer a few more before facing him.
“No-one’s even got close. I’d like to be the first to really trouble him in about a year’s time.”
Another West Londoner, Steve O’Meara, will also be fighting for a Commonwealth title on Saturday’s bill.
O’Meara faces unbeaten Liverpudlian Liam Smith for the vacant light-middleweight crown.