Groves promises ‘nasty’ fight

George Groves has vowed to get “nasty” when he defends his British and Commonwealth super-middleweight titles against Paul Smith.

It will be Groves’ first outing since his points victory over bitter rival and fellow West Londoner James DeGale in May.

For that encounter the Hammersmith fighter, 23, strictly followed a gameplan devised by trainer Adam Booth, but insists sparks will fly when he meets Smith at Wembley Arena on 5 November.

Groves said: “The DeGale fight was about exposing someone’s technical flaws. Adam was always holding me back, not letting me fight the way I wanted to fight.

“This fight is going to be different. In this one I’m allowed to be nasty – he [Booth] has given me the green light already – and that’s what I plan to do.

Groves won a close fight against DeGale

“I’ve been back in the gym a long time now and am really excited about defending against Paul Smith. He’s a really good fighter and it’ll be a great domestic dust-up. I’m 100% motivated for this fight.

“On paper, I should beat him but I know that he will ask different questions and I’ll need to find the answers, which I will do.”

Booth says he will not hold his fighter back this time around and expects “a much more entertaining fight for boxing fans and purists.”

“DeGale is very defensively minded, whereas these two just like landing heavy shots,” Booth added.

“Last time my job was to stop George losing his temper and getting involved, but this one is going to be a proper fight. It’s going to be one hell of a fight.”

Liverpudlian Smith, 28, lost the British title to DeGale when the Harlesden man stopped him in the ninth round of their bout last December.

But he is convinced he will get it back and re-establish himself as a possible world title contender when he takes on Groves.

Smith said: “It’s a fight I’ve wanted for a long time. When I was champion George had a few things to say about me, calling me out to try and get the fight.

“People keep asking me if this fight will be redemption for losing to DeGale. It won’t. The only way I’ll get redemption is by fighting DeGale again and beating him.

Warren has predicted "an explosive night" at Wembley

“I’m 100% improved since that DeGale fight – I keep telling that to anyone who’ll listen. Nothing seemed to go right in camp or on the night. I had no tactics.

“I paid the price for that but I’m focused on the next fight and am fitter than I’ve ever been because I’ve been using different methods of training.

“I just want to put in my best performance and get my title back. I feel my best days are ahead of me.”

The fight will be the chief support to the WBO lightweight title clash between Scotland’s Ricky Burns and champion Michael Katsidis.

“It’s fireworks night and it will be an explosive night,” said promoter Frank Warren.

“Styles make fights and this [Groves v Smith] has all the ingredients to be a real quality fight.”