Updated: Aug 6, 2019
This Saturday brings us the first super-middleweight semi-final of the World Boxing Super Series featuring Saint George Groves 27-3 (20KOs) and Chris Eubank Jr 26-1 (20KOs) with the WBA & IBO world titles up for grabs
So far across the board the tournament as a whole has provided fans with fight of the year contenders and this one is has the potential to be no different. George Groves has faced a hard path to get to this positon having lost twice to arch rival Carl Froch and then to Badou Jack in three failed world title tilts. The forth crack at a world crown proved to be the moment where Groves would finally pick up a world title with an impressive stoppage victory of a previously unbeaten Fedor Chudinov in May 2017 and then went on to successfully defend the title in the quarter final of the World Boxing Super Series with another great stoppage victory over fellow Brit Jamie Cox setting up this mouth-watering semi-final.
Eubank Jr’s path to this point has been a controversial yet compelling journey. Being the son of a British boxing legend always has its pressure. Eubank Jr like his father before him has acted in a similar manner with the same stone cold stare, demeanour and aura that gave fans some of the greatest British domestic fights in boxing history.
During his rise to ascension Jr was dispatching of opponents in devastating fashion and seemingly looked like he was well on his way to a future world title. The first big test came against fellow undefeated prospect Billy Joe Saunders, the fight itself was a tale of two halves as Eubank normally very active throughout the fight seemed to be overconfident which led to Saunders taking the early rounds and leaving Eubank scrambling in the latter half of the fight.
The loss to Saunders was a humbling one and the turning point in Eubank’s career.
Eubank would go on to drop the over the top showmanship and grind out victories over the likes of Dmitri Chudinov, Gary ‘O Sullivan and the vicious and controversial fight with Nick Blackwell. After the Blackwell fight there seemed to be a change in Jr’s demeanour and he would go on to move up to the super-middleweight division and beat Renald Quinlan for the lightly regarded IBO world title. The next two victories over Arthur Abraham and the highlight reel knockout of Avni Yildirim have got people talking about Eubank’s potential and he has now emerged as a bookie favourite to win the whole Ali trophy tournament.
This fights (Groves-Eubank) has really captured the public’s imagination and divided opinions across the boxing world, and with a place in the final at stake both men having everything to gain. Can Eubank Jr’s work rate and tenacity be too much for the battle hardened Groves or can the big punching “Saint” land the same punch that put the granite chinned Carl Froch to the floor and continue to prove the doubters wrong.