Callum Smith stops George Groves, claims Ali Trophy and #1 status
Callum Smith claimed the number one spot at 168 pounds, the WBA title, and the Ali Trophy with an impressive performance in Jeddah.
The Liverpool man began impressively in the first few rounds, catching Groves before ‘The Saint’ attempted to counter.
Groves didn’t look his usual self and Smith capitalized on that fact, repeatedly catching the Londoner with solid shots.
Flying on the seat of his pants at times, Groves attempted to use his instinct and experienced but was repeatedly beaten to the punch.
A mini Groves fightback in the fourth and fifth was put to bed when Smith came back strong in the sixth.
Landing a superb left hook in the seventh, Groves was rocked to the core and never recovered.
Smith piled on the pressure to head and body, leading to referee Luis Pabon reaching the count of ten when Groves dropped to the floor.
The win sees ‘Mundo’ become the top star at super-middleweight with a career-best triumph as his fighting brothers watched on.
In the co-feature, former IBO super-middleweight title-holder Chris Eubank Jr. is back in the win column.
The Briton scored a third round retirement of JJ McDonagh at the King Abdullah Sports City.
Eubank clipped McDonagh in the first round and the Irishman went over surprisingly. Despite fighting on, McDonagh was out-classed, made worse by an injured shoulder in the second.
McDonagh was forced to retire in his corner after the third and Eubank then accused him of running away.
As the pair spoke in the ring afterward, McDonagh offered to fight Eubank again without gloves after the Brighton man’s comments.
Clearly irate, McDonagh was then ushered away from Eubank, who laughed off his opponent’s advances.
Fights with James DeGale or a chance at his old IBO belt could be on the horizon for Eubank before the end of the year.
The victory sees Eubank moved to 27-2 and back in the mix following his World Boxing Super Series semi-final loss to George Groves in February.
FURTHER RESULTS FROM JEDDAH
To the massive delight of the Jeddah crowd, home favorite Zuhayr Al Qahtani saw off late replacement Mohamed Mahmoud over four rounds.
Al Qahtani now holds a perfect five fight record following a 39-37 victory across the scorecards.
Darren Surtees halted Kane Baker in two and can now boast a 9-0 C.V. Cruiserweight Mikael Lawal continued his progress by remaining undefeated courtesy of a stoppage.
The 23 year-old moved to 8-0 with a victory over Tamas Kozma in the third.
Kem Ljungquist battered Mourad Omar into an early submission following a punishing first round. The Dane targeted the body from the off and dug in some hurtful looking shots.
After two wincing and one-sided sessions, Ljungquist was hailed the winner as Omar was pulled out before the bell.
Earlier, Abdulfatah Julaidan became the first Saudi boxer to win on his home soil when moving to 2-0.
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay