Groves v Eubank Jr: WBSS Semi-Final preview and prediction
George Groves and Chris Eubank Jr. fight it out on Saturday night to become the first ever super-middleweight finalist in the brief history of the World Boxing Super Series format.
Two champions will enter the ring with distinctive fanbases in search of a triumph which will mean their domestic legacies as 168 pound operators will be secured due to their impending position in the inaugural showpiece of the tournament.
For Groves, the chance to build on what has been a long old slog to become world title holder has dawned following stoppage wins over Fedor Chudinov and Jamie Cox in recent memory.
‘The Saint’ had been the nearly man of the division for so long – and has been brought through the hard way – from facing Kenny Anderson early on in his career to taking his licks from an experienced Carl Froch at the backend of the Nottingham legend’s reign.
One massive high point stood out for Groves prior to his Chudinov coronation, which came years back when the Londoner overcame James DeGale in one of the biggest UK grudge matches of the modern era.
A running theme during the build-up has been the lengthening of Groves’ odds by the British bookmakers as more and more lean towards a Eubank stoppage on the night.
Much of the fight depends really on how much fight Groves has left in him. From the high of DeGale to the disappointments against Froch, and finally to the ecstasy of reaching his goal against Chudinov – the desire to still succeed at the top level following a mass of wars will be answered on the night.
Questions over his weight after Groves looked a little more gaunt than usual at the weigh-in remain, whilst Eubank is almost fully filled out into 168 pounds and holds the explosive power to test his more seasoned rival.
The Brighton man seems to be fully on the way up and riding the crest of a wave since making an eye-opening decision to leave the middleweight limit behind him in 2017.
Failure to secure a fight with Gennady Golovkin, a potentially career-defining fight, will be put firmly behind Eubank should he be able to take Groves out in front of 20,000 fans.
The smart money is going on a late knockout for the younger, fresher man in what should be a win which catapults ‘NXT GEN’ into the big leagues.
Prediction: Chris Eubank Jr. TKO 7-12
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay
Catch all the action in the UK on ITV Box Office
US fans can watch Groves v Eubank Jr. on the World Boxing Super Series Facebook page
Worldwide TV information is available at the World Boxing Super Series website