James Obede Toney Next For George Groves

By James Slater - With all the recent talk/hype regarding the possibility of a George Groves-James DeGale all-British super-middleweight grudge-match coming to nothing (for this year, at least), the two hot prospects move on. And 22-year-old Groves, 10-0(8) has his next opponent lined up.

According to Sky Sports, Groves will take what will potentially be his toughest test yet as a pro on October 30th, when he will meet the experienced James Obede Toney of Ghana. Groves, the reigning Commonwealth champ at 168-pounds, will be facing a man who has just three losses to his name and who has been in with some very big names in his time..

The 30-year-old, known as “Hot Ice,” has been stopped just twice in his ten-year pro career: by Lucian Bute (TKO by 8) and by Roman Karmazin down at middleweight (TKO by 4). Since the January 2007 loss to “Made in Hell,” Toney has won three in a row. However, he has had just one fight in the last two years; a 4th-round stoppage victory over a no-name who had a 0-1-0 pro ledger at the time of the September 2010 fight.

So, although Toney, who has never before fought in the UK, will represent a significant step up in class for the exciting Groves, he may well be suffering from ring-rust when he appears at York Hall in London.

24-3-1(21) overall, Toney has genuine punching power and he has learnt the tricks of the trade during his time in the sport. But Groves, winner of his last three by stoppage, really is looking like a future star. Very fast - faster than Toney, and possessing genuine God-given skill in all areas (barring, possibly, the ability to take a great shot - this we do not know yet), the former amateur standout is being looked at as a future world champion.

Yet to be taken beyond eight-rounds, Groves has handled each and every one of his pro opponents with some ease. Can Toney extend Groves and take him to a place he’s never been before? In a word, no.

Toney will be game and he figures to stick around for a few rounds at least, but ultimately he will be dazzled by Groves. Not too many people expected Groves to halt the also-experienced Charles Adamu as quickly as he did (inside six-rounds in April of this year, when Groves won the Commonwealth belt), but he shone that night. Groves will shine again at the end of the month, as he takes out “Hot Ice” in around the same amount of time.

Groves Vs. DeGale will have to wait for now, but as long as both guys keep winning, and in impressive fashion, the grudge-match will grow and grow! DeGale, by the way, will next fight on December 11th in London. The word is, Frank Warren has another big show planned for The ExCel Arena - a show that may even top the recent “Magnificent Seven” show.

Article posted on 03.10.2010

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