20
Oct
2018

WBSS: Callum Smith v Chris Eubank Jr. on the verge of being confirmed for Ali Trophy final

Smith v Eubank Jr. 12/05/2018

A week where the World Boxing Super Series announced big plans for expansion was coupled with the now very real situation of a wildcard entry into the super-middleweight final for last four participant Chris Eubank Jr.

As Sauerland paraded two current bantamweight world champions at a press gathering to confirm the 118 pound division would be one of three new tournaments, questions were still being asked as to when the two competitions running concurrently would be completed.

Champions from showpieces featuring George Groves v Callum Smith and Aleksandr Usyk v Murat Gassiev were due to be crowned by the time Season 2 was revealed, although injuries and venue rows have made it impossible for promoters Team Sauerland to reach the original deadline.

Groves underwent shoulder surgery after beating Eubank in the semi-final and has just days to prove his fitness, whilst Jeddah has since been scrapped as the hosts of the four-belt cruiserweight finale.

Russian authorities had offered to stage the 200 pound fight on May 11 in a bid to keep the tight schedule, although this was rejected by Usyk and his team leaving the Sauerland brothers and organisers at Comosa AG with a further headache.

So what now?

It looks as though the WBSS will be aiming to stage both finals either on the same night at the same venue or within a week of each other, with Groves set to be ruled out.

Eubank Jr. is on the verge of being drafted in as the replacement for what will be an all-UK showdown for the WBC Diamond title belt. But many believe the nature of Eubank’s performance against Groves, which was wild and amateurish at times, doesn’t warrant a second chance at lifting the Muhammad Ali Trophy.

Granted some of what is being bandied around social media comes with foundation, but in the cold light of day there aren’t too many options open to the WBSS as they attempt to wrap up Season 1.

The Brighton man is the soundest and safest choice for a match-up against Smith that will give the ex-IBO ruler the opportunity for redemption of his uncharacteristically bad loss to Groves.

The bottom line is Eubank’s profile fits the bill and gives the WBSS an opportunity to round off the 168 event with another British grudge match – as was ultimately the case with a world title clash against Groves.

Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay

Your SEO optimized title