The European Boxing Union have stated current super middleweight title holder Callum Smith is in talks to face compatriot George Groves in his first defence.
Smith, 25, won the title with a standout first round knockout win over Hadillah Mohoumadi at the Echo Arena in Liverpool this month and has been linked to a WBC title shot in the near future.
Due to an ongoing tournament involving WBC champion Badou Jack, Smith is set to face at least a six-month wait before being able to open negotiations to contest the green belt, leaving a clash with Groves as the best option moving forward.
Groves recently defeated previously unbeaten David Brophy on the Anthony Joshua v Charles Martin undercard and is known to be on the lookout for a big domestic battle with either Smith or Martin Murray.
According to the EBU, Smith v Groves ‘parties are in private negotiations’ regarding the 168 pound encounter, although that doesn’t necessarily mean that the fight will happen.
It does mean Groves has been approved as the next challenger for Smith and it’s now down to promoters Sauerland and Eddie Hearn to decide whether that bout is the way ahead for the talented fighters.