GEORGE GROVES is stepping down from the world level competition he has become accustomed to when he fights David Brophy on April 9 at the O2. But Groves is adamant he won’t coast against the game Scot on the Anthony Joshua-Charles Martin undercard. “This is a process now to fight myself back into contention for a world title. I don’t expect anyone to make that easy for me,” he said. “To fight a young British prospect I think is great for me because he’s certainly coming to win. We don’t know too much about him but that doesn’t mean he isn’t of that level yet.”

“Boxing, it’s a test of patience sometimes. I don’t think Brophy’s going to bring anything different, or anything special that needed addressing. He’s a good boxer, he’s undefeated, he’s a prospect coming through. He boxes neat and tidily, looks pretty big for the weight,” Groves continued. “My boxing ability and attributes are far greater than Brophy’s, from the limited footage I’ve seen of him. It’s up to me to go out and fight how I can fight.”

Super-middleweight Callum Smith made an impressive statement on Saturday, winning the European title inside a round. “He’s obviously a fighter who you don’t take lightly. If you present an opening, he has the ability to take it, he’s big, he’s strong, he’s powerful. He’s got a lot of one-round knockouts on his record. So you’d imagine if you were going to fight him, be patient, don’t be reckless at the start, because he’s good at taking advantage of recklessness,” George said. “A very good win for Callum but at the same time I’ve seen him in other fights where he’s had to dig deep a little bit. It’s hard to make an assessment on someone when they win that well and that emphatically and that quickly.”

Groves would be happy to take him on. “I’d fight anyone, absolutely anyone,” George said. “My point about me and Smith was that he’s now mandatory challenger for the WBC belt, Badou Jack the champion isn’t fighting until the end of April and then it looks like on paper he’s then going to fight the winner of [James] DeGale and his dude [Porky Medina] as a unification, which obviously will push the timeline back for Smith to challenge. Eddie Hearn said he’s got his shot and now he’s just going to wait, even if he has to wait until January. So I’m pretty sure that will be their plan. They won’t want to take any risky fights and as good as he’s looking and as good as he’s feeling, I’m pretty sure they see me as a risky fight, an unnecessary fight.”