LONDON -- George Groves made quick work of Jamie Cox on Saturday Oct. 14 to set up another all-English clash against Chris Eubank Jr. in early 2018.
Groves halted Cox with a crushing right to the body in the fourth round to retain his WBA world super-middleweight in a dominant first defence at the SSE Arena in London.
Victory sends Groves through to the semifinals of the World Boxing Super Series, an eight-man elimination tournament, where he will meet Eubank Jr., who knocked out Turkey's Avni Yildirim in the third round the previous weekend
Groves (27-3, 20 KOs), 29, claimed pre-fight he had not seen footage of Eubank's demolition of Yildirim, but he desperately wanted to confirm why he had been made No.1 seed in the tournament as its only world champion.
And this was an impressively efficient demolition job from Groves, who landed the clean shots against Cox and then came face-to-face with Eubank in the ring after. The two English rivals are expected to meet in January.
"I picked him [Cox, in the draw] because I believe he was the most dangerous of the unseeded fighters. I didn't want an easy fight," said Groves. "I knew Jamie Cox would ask questions and I trained alongside him years ago.
"But we roll on to the next geezer, who ever that is."
Eubank (26-1, 20 KOs), from Brighton, then entered the ring to be interviewed after the early finish.
"It was a good fight and he did what he had to do," said Eubank Jr. "It was a nice little body shot."
Cox (24-1, 13 KOs), 31, did not lack aggression or appetite, but he could not recover from the precise body shot and the fight was stopped after one minute and 42 seconds of round four.
Groves, who won the WBA belt by sixth round stoppage against Russia's Fedor Chudinov in May, made a good start and landed a good right hand in the first round.
But it not dissuade Cox who then bundled Groves into a corner and attacked the champion with gusto in the second round.
With Groves trapped in the corner, Cox unloaded a furious assault from both hands which Groves did well to emerge from untroubled.
Later in the second, Groves regained some authority by planting some stiff right hands on Cox. But the challenger again came storming back.
However, the cleaner and more accurate punches were always from the champion and Cox's aggression was abruptly curtailed with him doubled up in pain with his knees on the canvas after being hit by Groves' body shot.
This win cleared the way for Groves to fight Eubank in another domestic clash, the biggest he has been in since he was knocked out by fellow Briton Carl Froch in front of 80,000 fans at Wembley Stadium in 2014.
On the undercard, England's John Ryder really impressed in a fifth round knockout of Patrick Nielsen, which earned him the role of substitute in the World Boxing Super Series super-middleweight tournament.
The Londoner had no problem landing his punches from the first round and a knockout seemed inevitable from early on.
Ryder dropped Nielsen at the end of the second round when a right hook sent the Dane's gum shield flying from his mouth.
The count came at the end of the bell but Ryder continued landing hooks and uppercuts until the finish in the fifth round.
Nielsen became paralysed from a right that again dislodged his gum shield and Ryder then landed a left and a savage right uppercut, which landed flush. The Dane was left sitting on the canvas, with his senses scrambled, and counted out.