By Kevin Francis, courtesy of The Daily Star
GEORGE GROVES is hoping he can end the year by punching his way into the world title mix.
Commonwealth super-middleweight champion Groves locks horns with Glen Johnson on December 15.
And he believes that victory against his experienced opponent at London’s ExCel Arena will catapult him towards a world title shot next year.
Londoner Groves is unbeaten in 15 professional fights and said: “I have my sights set on that world title shot.
“Johnson is a great name and it will be a fantastic fight to end the year against a true warrior.
“He will come to fight and there is no way that I am expecting an easy night’s work against him.
“I’m training my guts out for this fight and it could turn into a brutal and bloody war, one that the fans will relish.”
Johnson, 43, is an American-based Jamaican who has won 51 of his 70 paid bouts, 35 of those wins coming by knockout.
Groves said: “It is a massive step up for me in just my 16th fight, so a win against him would be great on my record.”
Promoter Frank Warren said: “It’s a very tough fight for George, there’s no mistaking that.
“Johnson has been around, seen it and done it in a career that has spanned almost 20 years.
“But George is young, fresh, talented and hungry and really wants to prove that he’s the next world champion in waiting.”
Johnson’s CV includes victories over major names like Roy Jones, Allan Green and Antonio Tarver.
He also took Carl Froch all the way in the Super Six series last year before losing a points decision.
Groves said: “I’m ready for this fight, ready to step up a level and it is my first test with a world-class fighter.
“No-one has an easy night against him and he’s been rolling back the years, as he showed when pushing Carl Froch all the way.
“A good performance against him will definitely make people notice me.”