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'Boxing has been good to me': Former world champion Groves retires aged 30

The Londoner will join one of the world’s biggest talent management agencies as an advisor in their boxing division.

George Groves celebrates victory over Chris Eubank Jr last year.
George Groves celebrates victory over Chris Eubank Jr last year.
Image: Peter Byrne

FORMER WBA WORLD super-middleweight champion George Groves has retired from boxing at the age of 30.

A native of Hammersmith, West London, Groves amassed a record of 28-4 (20KOs), winning Commonwealth, British and European titles in the 168-pound division before finally claiming world honours in 2017.

He was ranked as the world’s best super-middleweight as recently as last year, but after a stoppage defeat to Liverpool’s Callum Smith in a thrilling World Boxing Super Series final last September, ‘Saint George’ has decided to exit stage left to preserve his health and spend his “some of his better days” with his young family.

Groves, who has been self-managed since 2014, also confirmed that the next stage of his career will see him go into sports management with the Wasserman agency, who currently steer the careers of hundreds of footballers from 45 leagues around the world as well as major American figures such as NBA star Russell Westbrook, NFL star Andrew Luck and MLB star Giancarlo Stanton.

George Groves File Photo Groves and trainer Shane McGuigan celebrate winning the WBA World super-middleweight title against Fedor Chudinov in May 2017. Source: PA Wire/PA Images

In a statement released on his social media accounts, Groves said:

“After taking a little time to reflect on the events in my career, I have decided that it is time for me to retire as a professional fighter.

“In 2017, I boxed in front of a home crowd in Sheffield and became the WBA super-middleweight world champion. After four attempts I had finally fulfilled my childhood dream, and the experience was as great as I had always imagined it would be. It was without a doubt the best moment of my career.

“Some of you might think it odd that I’m choosing this time to retire. I’m still young, still fit and healthy, and there are still some big fights out there for me. But it’s for these reasons that I’m choosing to retire now.

I have a young family at home; it’s time to spend some of my better days with them. I don’t want there to be a time where I’m ‘too old’ to box on, or where an injury retires me in or out of the ring. Over the years I have seen and sadly known the dangers of the sport, and I want to respectfully bow out while I’m on top of my game. I’ve learned that doesn’t always mean coming off the back of a win. I’ve boxed at the highest level all over the world, I’ve been a champion, and I’ll be leaving the sport (relatively!) intact.

“Boxing has been good to me and I believe I have been good for boxing. I hope I have entertained you all; I have always strived to be the best fighter I can be.”

Boxing - This Is It - The O2 Groves beat nemesis James DeGale in a box-office grudge match in the early stages of both fighters' careers. Each went on to become a world champion. Source: PA Archive/PA Images

Groves went on to thank the people who assisted him throughout his career before shedding light on the next stage of it.

Confirming that he would love to “remain in the sport to some degree”, the former WBA titlist added:

“I have my manager’s licence that has enabled me to be self-managed for the past five years. I’m delighted to be able to take this opportunity to announce I will be joining Wasserman as an advisor in their boxing division.

“I believe I’ve got a lot of knowledge and experience in boxing — for situations both in and out of the ring — that could be invaluable to future champions of this sport.

“I’ve had lots of incredible opportunities to work with almost everyone in the sport, from a range of promoters and TV networks whilst still being self-managed, which I believe has left me with a unique set of skills that could set me apart from other managers/advisors. I’m really looking forward to this challenge.”

Groves also confirmed that he will look for TV boxing punditry work where available, and announced that he will join ITV’s broadcast of James DeGale vs Chris Eubank next month. Groves beat arch nemesis DeGale as an amateur and as a professional, besting Eubank in his World Boxing Super Series semi-final last month.

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