George Groves' opponent Eduard Gutknecht has undergone surgery after falling ill after their fight last night.
Groves beat the 34-year-old super-middleweight by unanimous decision at Wembley’s SSE Arena, following which Gutknecht was taken to hospital.
Gutknecht is sedated and will continue to be monitored in the coming days, according to the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBofC).
Gutknecht took significant punishment throughout the one-sided fight before Groves, 28, was declared a 119-109, 119-109 and 119-110 winner on the three judges’ scorecards to remain in contention for an expected fourth shot at a world title in 2017.
Concerns almost immediately turned to Gutknecht, however, when reports of his condition emerged.
He was already clearly losing the fight against the heavy-handed Groves when a cut opened up around his swollen left eye in the ninth round, further reducing his ability to defend himself.
He impressed in surviving until the final bell despite Groves’ consistent aggression and did not appear distressed while the scorecards were announced.
It was afterwards in his changing room when his condition declined, leading to him requiring medical attention and swiftly being taken away in an ambulance.
According to the BBBofC, it was after that point that Gutknecht — born in Kazakhstan but who fights out of Germany — was operated on.
At the same venue in March, English middleweight Nick Blackwell collapsed at the end of his stoppage defeat by Chris Eubank Jnr. He suffered bleeding on his skull and was treated at St Mary's hospital in Paddington where he eventually recovered, despite having to retire.
More recently in September, Scottish welterweight Mike Towell died just 25 hours after losing to Dale Evans in Glasgow. He had suffered severe bleeding and swelling to his brain.
Speaking before Gutknecht was taken ill, Groves told Channel 5: “I am very happy with how I fought, it went exactly to plan. I set a great tempo and busted him up badly. I am surprised he made it to the bell — Gutknecht is a tough character.
“We want real, big, proper fights. There was no world title on the line, but we knew Gutknecht was going to give me a tough fight.”
After reports of Gutknecht’s condition emerged, Groves cancelled plans to discuss his performance at a post-fight press conference, considering it inappropriate.
Victory is expected to earn him a shot at the vacant WBA super-middleweight title next year.