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Shane McGuigan celebrates George Groves world title win

Andy Watters

SHANE McGuigan celebrated a third world title win after George Groves captured the vacant WBA super-middleweight title on Saturday night.

McGuigan, rated one of the top trainers in the game, guided Carl Frampton to world titles at super-bantam and featherweight, and saw Groves over the line after the Londoner had lost three previous world title challenges.

A domestic rematch with fellow world champion James DeGale now seems a tantalising prospect.

Groves defeated DeGale in the amateurs and then handed his fierce rival his only professional defeat to date by earning a razor-thin points victory when they squared off six years ago.

Another high-profile showdown has often been mooted, but while Groves would welcome another chance to put one over on the IBF champion, he does not think it is a certainty to happen.

The 29-year-old said: “I don't think it'd be an easy one to make because he's not an easy person to deal with.

“I'd like that fight but we'll have to wait and see. I've beaten him twice already. It's a great fight, it's a big fight that I'll always enjoy: enjoy the build-up, enjoy the fight, and enjoy beating him again.”

Having scaled the mountain at the fourth attempt, Groves laid bare the extent of how two defeats to Carl Froch and one to Badou Jack in previous world title tilts had mentally scarred him.

“For so long I was walking round clueless, not knowing why I wasn't world champion. (I was) bitter, no-one likes being called bitter but I knew part of me, deep down, was feeling sorry for myself,” he said.

“I was treating this one as another fight, I desperately didn't want to think about what it would be like to be a world champion. I was petrified of that thought because I'd been so close in the past and never got it.

“Now I've got proof in the pudding. I'm telling everyone I'm the best in the world, now I've got the belt to prove it and that's just such a wonderful feeling.

“A weight has certainly been lifted, that thing that was there is no longer there. I've learned from my losses and I feel they've made me a better fighter for it.

“I'm going to be a better, more rounded human being as well as fighter now. I can put the demons to bed.”

In the wake of the Jack loss in Las Vegas in September 2015, Groves split with Clare-born trainer Paddy Fitzpatrick and linked up with McGuigan, under whom he claimed four straight wins to set up a contest with Chudinov.

Groves struggled initially to contain his opponent and an accidental clash of heads in the fourth round left him with a cut over his left eye, but the Londoner rallied and a furious barrage forced referee Steve Gray to halt the contest just before the scheduled halfway point.

“Chudinov was frighteningly strong, he had a lot of weight in his punches,” he said.

“He wasn't the most explosive I've been in with but there's a lot of weight in the shots. He was a tough, tough cookie.

“I haven't had a fight where I haven't made a little bit of hard work for myself but it makes you feel like you deserve it that much more.”

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