George Groves made it four times lucky as he finally turned his dream into reality after clinching the WBA ‘super’ super-middleweight title at Bramall Lane.
The Hammersmith fighter came alive in round six to punish Fedor Chudinov with a vicious amount of unanswered combinations before Steve Gray intervened to call the fight to a halt.
‘The Saint’ admits it was a day of full of mixed feelings leading into the fight.
“It’s hard to express emotions (since winning the fight), I’ve been a bit of an emotional wreck today, I woke up this morning and I’m sort of preparing for a fight so it’s been one extreme to another,” Groves exclusively told World Boxing News post-fight.
“I knew I had to save my energy and by the time I was in the changing room I was zoned in and ready for the fight and not once did I realise once it was a world title fight I just knew what I needed to do, listen to my coach on how we beat this guy, getting the warm up right and everything else. It only dawned on me when I won it, I thought yes this is it now, I’m the champion.”
During the build-up to the contest, many felt a loss would spell the end of his career. Groves admitted it was last chance saloon but never contemplated the consequences of defeat.
“I didn’t think about that because the truth is if I had lost tonight it would have been impossible to have come back but I’ve won and won well.
“I’ve had such a fantastic build up to this fight tonight, the support was incredible, so many genuine people wanted me to win so it’s a special feeling and I’m just going to try and enjoy this as much as I can. It’s the first time in a while I’ve been able to enjoy boxing in this kind of way,” the 29-year-old added.
Anxiety, relief and delight springs to mind when thinking about Groves’ journey to the top since his agonizing losses to Carl Froch.
However, the shackles are off and the Brit can now look towards the future with huge domestic fights around the corner with the likes of Callum Smith and old foe James DeGale waiting in the wings.
With the reception he received when being proclaimed the winner, you can bet he won’t be alone in his mission to unify the division.
Joe Hewlett is lead writer for World Boxing News. Follow Joe on Twitter @Hewlett95