George Groves insists he is in no rush to step up to world level despite his demolition of Paul Smith on Saturday night.
Groves, 23, retained his British and Commonwealth super-middleweight crowns – and maintained his unbeaten professional record – in fine style, stopping Smith in the second round of their fight at Wembley Arena.
It was only the Hammersmith prospect’s 14th bout and leaves him on course for a possible world title shot in 2012, while a potential rematch with west London rival James DeGale has also been mooted.
“I’m getting stronger month by month, year by year.”
But Groves said: “I’m content with the belts I’ve got. If something bigger and better comes along and it’s the right move then 100% we’ll take it.
“But in my heart I’m not craving something better as a fighter because I know that as long as I keep improving, I’ll get there.
“I don’t like to put time frames on things. It’s about getting the job done, showing improvement and then moving on to better things.
“I’m getting stronger month by month, year by year. It’s about working hard and improving. It’s all accumulative.”
Smith was attempting to win back the British title he lost to DeGale last year and propel himself back into the frame for a world title challenge.
The 29-year-old Liverpudlian was gracious in defeat after staggering Groves early on only to be stopped in the following round after taking a huge right that he could not recover from.
He admitted: “It was a great shot. I didn’t see it and don’t remember being hit with it.
“I caught George at the end of the first round and, although it’s all ifs and buts, if that had been early in the round – like when I got caught – then it might have been a different story.
“But no excuses from me – I got caught. He’s a powerful kid and a great puncher, and I paid the price.”
Smith initially protested after the fight was halted but later conceded that the referee was right to end the contest.
“I had complaints at the time but when I watch it back I’ll probably change my mind,” he said.
“Referees are there to do their job. Who am I to argue? I got caught with a cracking shot, didn’t see it, and I’m not going to argue.
“I respect the referee and if he says I was in no position to continue then I’ve got to take his word for it and that’s that.”
Groves claimed he was not shaken by Smith’s attack late in the first round despite appearing to have been hurt.
The defending champion was hit with two glancing shots after being beaten to the punch, and then took a ferocious right shortly before the bell.
“It was nothing at all. It must have looked much worse than what it was,” said Groves.
“In the first round you’re still finding your feet, finding your balance, and trying to get your defence tight.
“It [taking a shot] is synonymous with me. It happens a lot. It didn’t affect me. And the first shot I got through with landed solid and that was it – it was over.”
One man who definitely did trouble Groves was Scotland’s Kenny Anderson, who floored him during their fight last year before the Englishman battled back to win.
And Groves confirmed that a rematch with Anderson is a serious possiblity.
He said: “That’s an interesting fight. I know I can do a better job than I did before with Anderson.
“He’s trying to work his way into being the mandatory challenger, so maybe that fight may have to happen.”
Groves’ trainer and manager Adam Booth added: “In the first round I thought George and Paul were both a bit uptight.
“George was the one who ended up throwing shots when he shouldn’t have and ended up getting caught. But he’s got a good chin. I’ve seen him hit enough to know he’s got a decent chin.
“Paul got caught. When you’ve two guys who can dig and one gets caught early, that’s what can happen. I’m just pleased it was George who did it.”