George ‘The Saint’ Groves produced a dominant fifth-round stoppage win over Andrea Di Luisa at the Copper Box Arena in London on Saturday night.
In his first fight under new trainer Shane McGuigan, Groves looked back to his best, with a sharp, fluid and commanding performance that saw Di Luisa floored with a body shot in the fifth before his corner hastily threw in the towel to save him from further punishment.
A brass band sounded the entrance of The Saint and he marched straight to work in the first round, producing spearing jabs quickly followed with his rapier right hand.
Di Luisa was already wearing a concerned expression by the second round and walked into a crisp one-two combination from Groves which drew blood from the Neapolitan's nose.
Back in front of his British fans, Groves seemed eager to impress and ripped open Di Luisa's defences with his swift hand speed. The Saint connected with a sharp left hook in the fourth round that saw Di Luisa briefly touch down with a knee. And it wasn’t long before Di Luisa was down again, as the Italian was floored twice more in the fifth round to prompt the intervention of his corner.
A spiteful body shot from Groves forced Di Luisa to drop to his knees and although he rose with a pained expression, another big overhand right was quickly followed by the white towel.
"I want to be as busy as Shane," Groves told Sky Sports.
"He's the busiest guy I know. I feel fresh. I'm back on Sky and headlining in London. We'll look for another big date. I'm ready to crack on.
"I'll fight anyone, take any opportunity. We've been working on some things and I'm sure doors will open up quickly. In the meantime, we'll train more with Shane and gel more."