Exclusive: Kalle Sauerland reveals venue options for Groves v Eubank Jr. / Smith v Braehmer semi-finals
Kalle Sauerland has informed WBN of the four possible venues to host the forthcoming World Boxing Super Series super-middleweight semi-finals.
In one of the highlights of the first quarter in 2018, world champions George Groves and Chris Eubank Jr. collide for a place in the final of the Muhammad Ali Trophy tournament.
WBC Diamond title holder Callum Smith faces ex-light heavyweight ruler Juergen Braehmer in the other semi-final as both aim for the chance to become the first WBSS overall winner.
Venues for each contest are set to be revealed next week, although Sauerland shed light on the current options when contacted by WBN this week.
“For Groves v Eubank Jr. we are looking to hold the fight in London or Manchester,” Sauerland exclusively told World Boxing News.
Pushed on whether that means The O2 and Manchester Arena are the top choices, and whether Smith v Braehmer would be staged in either the Echo Arena in Liverpool or Germany, Sauerland added: “Correct on all counts.”
Groves v Eubank had been linked to being staged in a London football stadium, although given the time of year the fixture is set to take place (February), it doesn’t really make too much sense to hold the encounter outdoors.
London would still be the favored setting, whilst in the other semi, Smith will hoping to lure Braehmer over to Liverpool’s Docklands in his bid to secure an all-UK final.
Running concurrently with the 168 event is the cruiserweight counterpart, with Oleksandr Usyk likely to battle Mairis Briedis in Eastern/Baltic Europe or the USA and Yunier Dorticos v Murat Gassiev almost certain to land in the latter.
The tournaments climax is being eyed for the following May before an announcement of the next two weight divisions for the second round of the series could follow in July.
Fans are hoping a heavyweight competition could be set-up with the likes of Anthony Joshua, Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury, although the featherweight and super-flyweight classes are also red hot at the moment.
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay