Three-time world title challenger George Groves heads into his WBA world title fight this coming weekend knowing that defeat could spell the end of his title aspirations.
Aged 29 from Hammersmith, London, Groves holds a 25-3 professional record having fought the likes of James DeGale, Paul Smith, Carl Froch, Badou Jack and Martin Murray.
Groves rose to national prominence in 2013 when facing fellow Brit Carl Froch in an encounter that will live long in the memory. Froch was the experienced, multiple time world champion who had faced the best out there for years on end and was expected to deal with Groves in emphatic fashion.
Instead, Groves was to produce a scintillating display that shocked the world. Having floored Froch in the first round Groves went on to land heavy shots throughout the contest. He was too quick and switched on for Froch for the vast majority of the fight.
In typical Froch fashion, the veteran kept marching forward and finally began to make an impact on the fight wobbling Groves when the referee stepped in and ended the contest.
The fallout from the stoppage is well known and lead to one of the most anticipated fights in British boxing history with Wembley Stadium playing host to 80,000 fans watching the rematch.
Froch was to turn up mentally prepared for the fight and knocked Groves out with one of the best punches of his career.
Since then Groves has failed to capitalise on the huge interest surrounding him and has slipped back in the pecking order. Groves attraction has fallen with other fighters taking the publicity and media coverage that could have been his.
After suffering defeat to Badou Jack in a close contest in Las Vegas, Groves took the decision to change trainers and join Shane McGuigan. Under McGuigan, he appears to have improved his fitness and looks a fighter ready for his title shot.
In his way stands the 29-year-old Russian Fedor Chudinov who is a very solid fighter but one that Groves will feel he is superior to.
With a 14-1 professional record Chudinov is not the most experienced fighter but despite that, he is a former world champion having held the WBA belt previously.
Chudinov became a champion in 2015 after claiming a split decision win over the veteran Felix Sturm before going on to defend the belt in Britain against Frank Buglioni via a unanimous decision win.
He was to lose the belt last year in a rematch with Sturm who claimed a majority decision win. The fight has been full of controversy with many stating that Chudinov was the rightful winner combined with Sturm since having tested positive for Stanozolol a banned anabolic steroid.
All the issues resulted in Sturm vacating the belt and eventually Chudiov and Groves being lined up to challenge for the belt.
In terms of assessing the styles of the two men, Groves is a slick fighter with a fantastic jab, good hand speed and decent power. Chudinov, in contrast, is a come-forward, tough pressure fighter who looks to break his opponents down with powerful shots.
Groves will look to outbox his opponent off the back foot using his speed to full effect and for many, he is the favourite to take home the belt. This is a huge fight for him that could send him back to the big time.
Huge fights with the likes of James DeGale, Callum Smith or even Chris Eubank Jr could await Groves should he win but defeat would be such a huge setback that he may consider his future in the sport.
Whilst he would still be young, he knows it would be a long way back before he would even be considered for another title shot. He is not a guy who wants to hang around in the sport and fight at a lower level.
Chudinov is a solid fighter but if Groves is ever to have a chance of becoming world champion then now is the time. Chudinov is a very beatable fighter if Groves is disciplined and uses his skills
The most likely outcome would appear to be a points win in favour of Groves but I do expect him to have to come through some sticky patches where Chudinov pressures him on the ropes.
This is just part of a fantastic night of boxing as Kell Brook meets Errol Spence in a fascinating clash for the IBF welterweight title at Sheffield’s Bramall Lane.