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Groves cruises to second round victory in Germany

ESPN staff
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George Groves added another win to his record on Saturday © Getty Images
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George Groves completed the 18th professional victory of his career with a straightforward second round technical knockout of Baker Barakat in Germany on Saturday.

Groves, thrust into action at short notice as his new manager, Eddie Hearn, bids to accelerate his career, found himself in the unfamiliar position of opening the bill in Magdeburg on Saturday evening - but the Englishman was unaffected, as he completely overwhelmed Barakat inside two rounds.

Barakat barely threw a punch during the duration of the contest, belying a record that showed he had not been stopped since 2008. Groves dropped his opponent quickly with a strong right and, while the referee initially allowed the contest to continue, as Groves continued to throw unanswered punches the man in the middle felt compelled to end matters.

Afterwards, Groves admitted that Barakat had poised little challenge

"I just need to keep busy. The guy wasn't at the level that I'm used to but I put in a solid performance," Groves said. "I got some good stuff from the time I spent in the ring."

With a second tune-up in May already lined up, Groves admitted that he will then be hoping to fight the winner of Arthur Abraham's WBO super-middleweight title defence against Robert Stieglitz - which was set o take place later in the night.

"I hope so. That's the fight I want," Groves acknowledged. "I was supposed to fight Stieglitz next year but had to pull out through injury. I want the winner [of Saturday's fight]!"

Stieglitz went on to win the contest - stopping Abraham after just three rounds following an impressive display of aggressive, attacking boxing.

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