McGuigan backs Groves to win world title in 2016


Trainer Shane McGuigan believes three-time world-title challenger George Groves can reach the summit of the super-middleweight division by the end of 2016.

Former Commonwealth, British and European champion Groves resumes his latest quest for a tilt at global honours when he faces unbeaten but largely untested Scot David Brophy on the undercard of Saturday's IBF heavyweight title showdown between Charles Martin and Anthony Joshua at the O2 Arena in London.

The 28-year-old was controversially stopped by Carl Froch in Manchester in November 2013, before being emphatically knocked out by his rival at a sold-out Wembley Stadium the following May.

A lacklustre split decision loss to WBC ruler Badou Jack in Las Vegas last September persuaded Groves, a protege of David Haye's former mentor Adam Booth, to part company with coach Paddy Fitzpatrick and join forces with McGuigan, the son of Irish featherweight great Barry.

McGuigan, who now also helms Haye's resumed career along with that of unified super-bantamweight champion Carl Frampton, ran Groves' corner for the first time in January's five-round win over limited Italian Andrea Di Luisa.

With high-profile domestic bouts against the likes of Martin Murray and undefeated Liverpool sensation Callum Smith mooted, provided Groves negotiates Brophy, McGuigan believes his fighter is on track to capture the dazzling form of his early career.

"You're only as good as your opponent and Di Luisa was a sub-par opponent," McGuigan told Omnisport.

"[Groves] will raise his game. He's been in with some great sparring partners since then.

"It's a work in progress but I'm extremely confident in him becoming a world champion by the end of this year."