George Groves returns to the scene of his tragic fight with Eduard Gutknecht acknowledging that that night has changed him as a fighter.

He makes the first defence of his WBA super-middleweight title against Jamie Cox at Wembley Arena in his first fight of the 12-stone edition of the World Boxing Super Series.

Victory will secure a semi-final against Chris Eubank Jnr in early 2018, but even if Groves can be expected to fight with greater confidence having finally won a world title, he could yet be coping with further mental baggage.

It was in November 2016 at the same venue that after 12 punishing rounds with Groves, Gutknecht collapsed before spending five weeks in a coma and being left disabled.

In his next fight, when winning his title against Fedor Chudinov, the 29-year-old Groves began to think about Germany's Gutknecht and even began looking at the referee in anticipation of intervention before continuing to box.

"I remember it quite clearly: there's a definite break where (Chudinov) comes in," Groves revealed.

"He doesn't have the ability to tie me up, but he ends up underneath my arm and I look at the ref, and I'm almost looking at him as if to say 'What do you reckon? A bit more?'

"Then we break, and then I catch him with three, four, five punches and then it's over, and then I'm thinking 'I'm happy about that' because (of what happened with Gutknecht). It was the first one back.

"I've been in a few fights where I keep drilling guys - Carl Froch, those sort - and they just keep coming.

"Apart from the fact I want to win, and I want to keep this going, you do think (about Gutknecht).

"It's definitely a new thing (to think that way in fights)."

Groves also sparred with Nick Blackwell, before his similarly damaging fight with Eubank Jnr, and his involvement then has also influenced him.

The combination of both is perhaps far from the elation he may have expected upon becoming a world champion at the fourth attempt, something he was "scared" to wonder about and that he also described as a "huge weight off my shoulders".

"We're landing loads of shots on each other, and from there he goes into that fight," Groves said of Blackwell. "He didn't look right, fight week. I thought that last spar we had, he just seemed a bit off.

"It's a huge fight: I think he took a few days off, felt a lot better, and went into the fight, but maybe something wasn't right. But it's so strange that so soon after it happened to Gutknecht."