George Groves (28-3, 20KOs) retained his WBA super middleweight title while adding the IBO super middleweight strap and cementing his place in the World Boxing Super Series final after defeating Chris Eunbank Jr (26-2, 20KOs).
All three British judges scored it unanimously in favour of the Saint; 117-112 for Howard Foster, 116-112 for Steve Gray and 115-113 for Marcus McDonnell. I personally had it a lot wider with a score of 118-110.
Brighton-based Eubank Jr was outclassed and out thought in more or less every round. He threw wild shots that missed on several occasions and was not allowed to close the gap due to Groves’ excellent jab and right hand combination.
Junior was very fortunate to not have a knock down scored against him in the second round after his hand clearly touched the canvas which referee Michael Alexander failed to spot.
In the twelveth and final round the Londoner allowed his opponent to close the distance but that was down to a suspected dislocated shoulder he suffered early in the round.
Will Groves compete in the final?
Unfortunately the injury could prevent Groves from competing in the final which is set for early June.
“It’s a massive concern for the tournament. George Groves’ health is paramount.” said Shane McGuigan.
Obviously it is to early to start thinking about a replacement for the final if Groves is unable to compete but who would replace him? Well, the tournament promoter Kalle Sauerland confirmed British fighter Eubank Jr would be “on the list” to take Groves’ place in the final.
Sauerland Said: “We have a scope for when the tournament has to be completed,”
“We are hopeful. With those type of injuries he could train quickly again, but no-one knows until it’s been diagnosed by an expert.”
Personally if the worse case scenario were to happen and Groves did have to be replaced then I would ideally be trying to find another current world champion?
WBC champion David Benavidez (20-0, 17KOs), IBF holder Caleb Truax (29-3-2, 18KOs) or Mexican Gilberto Ramírez (37-0, 25KOs) who holds the WBO version should all be the guys on the list, not any fighter that has lost in the WBSS already. Just my two penny’s worth.
What next for both fighters
Hammersmith-based Groves will need some much needed R&R and wait for the results on his injury. I’m sure we all hope that he is fighting fit and ready for June final. If he isn’t then it’s not the end of the world as he is still a champion and will fancy his chances against any of the current belt holders.
Chris Eubank Jr will now need to re-group and reassess his options. I have always thought that he is overrated and would struggle against the top fighters. So far I have been proven right but he is still only 28 so he still has time to prove me wrong. One thing is for sure he will need to keep fighting top level opponents if he is to improve.