It’s an all-British clash in the first of two semi-finals of the World Boxing Series tournament this February. Londoner George Groves faces off against Brighton’s Chris Eubank Jr in what is expected to be an all-or-nothing fiery encounter at super middleweight. The calendar event takes place on February 17th, 2018 in the Manchester Arena, UK. The fighter that comes out on top will face the winner of Callum Smith vs. Juergen Braehmer, a former world champion.
As the current WBA Super Middleweight Champion Groves is putting in all on the line in this semi-final boxing match-up. Aged just 29, you could argue that these are his prime years – when better than now to wipe out the rest of the division and claim the top ranked position. Groves’ most effective arsenal in his toolkit is the body shot; 67% of his wins are the result of a knockout. In preparation for this fight he has brought in specialist training partners, such as German middleweight Denis Radovan.
Chris Eubank Jr is quickly carving out a status as the man to beat at 168lbs. He too has silverware, currently in possession of the IBO belt. The calm and composed figure of Eubank Jr has seemingly been unnerved by the prospect of losing, going on record to say he is training to knock out Groves and doesn’t consider this to be the hardest challenge of his career by any stretch. The upside Eubank Jr has over this opponent on a psychological level is that he has never lost in this weight class, whereas Saint George has. But will his impressive run of form come to an end in Manchester, this February?
George Groves Form and Fight Record
Saint George enters this contest with a record of 27-3-0. He is returning from a four month layoff after walking through compatriot Jamie Cox in the quarter final fight of the World Boxing Super Series, a performance which has wildly upped his stock in this weight class. Groves is looking for a seventh successive win in the super middleweight division. Three of his last five bouts have finished via KO/TKO. Critics may point to the brace of unanimous outcomes in recent times as a blemish on his fight history – going another 12 rounds with Eubank Jr could not not end well.
George Groves Last Five Fights
Win via KO/TKO – Jamie Cox
Win via KO/TKO – Fedor Chudinov
Win via unanimous decision – Eduard Gutknecht
Win via unanimous decision – Martin Murray
Win via KO/TKO – David Brophy
Watch video highlights of George Groves against Jamie Cox
Chris Eubank Jr Form and Fight Record
Chris Eubank Jr, fresh from a mouth-watering victory over Avni Yildirim in October 2017, has been clocking up wins at super middleweight at a rapid pace. The Brighton resident now has eight wins on the bounce, another W over British rival Groves will take him to the final of this tournament. Recent knockouts against the likes of Avni Yildirim, Renold Quinlan and Tom Doran have shone a new light on Eubank Jr’s ability to put fighters away with conviction and ferocity inside 12 rounds. Hard-fought bouts against Billy Joe Saunders and Arthur Abraham are evidence of his endurance at this level, expectedly a sign of things to come in 2018.
Chris Eubank Jr Last Five Fights
Win via KO/TKO – Avni Yildirim
Win via unanimous decision – Arthur Abraham
Win via KO/TKO – Renold Quinlan
Win via KO/TKO – Tom Doran
Win via KO/TKO – Nick Blackwell
Watch video highlights of Chris Eubank Jr against…
George Groves vs Chris Eubank Jr Prediction
We’ll be honest – we never saw Chris Eubank Jr getting this far. 12 months ago he was a different man, but now he clearly means business. The tournament bragging rights are his for the taking, providing he can outperform Saint George. Like his opponent, Groves has been turning heads in his recent string of fights. Ferocious punching power and brimming confidence makes him just as dangerous a prospect. The bookmakers have Eubank Jr marginally ahead as favourite entering this middleweight boxing fight. There is big money to be one on either fighter emerging victorious by knockout.
Both boxers wield devastating power and are capable of a stoppage early on against a fighter of average status. But these guys cancel one another out. We see two likely outcomes: Groves to win by a body shot or Eubank Jr to earn the win by stoppage. Going for bust, our betting tip is for the fight to not go the total distance and the refs calling it between rounds 7-10; Eubank Jr makes the final.