GEORGE GROVES promised his manager on Facebook he would knock his opponent out in the fourth round on Sunday - but Romaric Hignard ended up face down a round earlier.
Hammersmith middleweight Groves wasted no time in dismantling his French foe at York Hall to extend his pro record to 2-0 by forcing a third round stoppage.
The fighter who retained his ABA title at the east London shrine to boxing last May had wanted the full six rounds, but sent journeyman Hignard to the canvas twice in the opening three minutes.
"I had a chat with David Haye (above) on Facebook and he asked me what round I would stop him.
"So I promised him a late fourth round stoppage, but to be fair the referee had to stop it - the guy had had enough.
"I had him down early. But I didn't want to wade in there and start letting my work get untidy. I don't like wasting punches, each one has to be meaningful."
Hignard hadn't got time to appreciate Groves' craft as he crumbled in the third round under a sickening body blow, and was felled soon after by a right cross upstairs, before being saved from further punishment.
Groves was hoping his skills and class rather than his clout would be the talking point, as he looks to build up a CV
en route to the British title But it was his power that quickly broke Hignard's spirit, with the sell-out crowd baying for the Frenchman's blood.
"The atmosphere was wild and it might have thrown him out of his stride, but I broke his defences down and that's what we've worked on."
Groves fights twice in March, provisionally on the 7th in Peterborough, and two days after his 21st birthday on the 28th at the Liverpool Echo arena.