The World Boxing Super Series Cruiserweight final is set - now we move on to the Super Middleweight (168 lbs.) bracket. Saturday’s semifinal is a major one, as George Groves (27-3; 20 KOs) faces Chris Eubank, Jr. (26-1; 20 KOs) Groves is the WBA champion and ranked #2 in the division by Ring Magazine; Eubank is just a bit below him at #4. Winner claims the WBA title and the first spot in the finals. The fight takes place this Saturday, February 17 with a fight time of 5:00 p.m. ET. Appropriately, it will be in front of a no doubt rabid crowd at the Manchester Arena in the UK. There will be a live stream and Bloody Elbow will have live coverage.
How do these two stack up?
Groves: 29 years old | 5’11” | 72" reach | orthodox stance
Eubank: 28 years old | 5’11" | 72" reach | orthodox stance
What have these two done recently?
Groves: Jamie Cox (KO) | W - Fedor Chudinov (TKO) | W - Eduard Gutknecht (UD)
Eubank: W - Avni Yildirim (KO) | W - Arthur Abraham (UD) | W - Renold Quinlan (TKO)
How did these two get here?
George Groves really rose to prominence with a controversial 2013 loss to Carl Froch. While that fight brought him much attention, it also marked the start of a rough patch where the previously undefeated Groves went 2-3 and looked like a fighter with a clearly defined (and met) ceiling. But he’s gone 6-0 since - not always against great opposition and not against anyone who is going to erase the memory of those losses to Froch and Badou Jack, but not all total hand-picked pushovers either. Still, this is his toughest test since the loss to Jack in 2015.
Chris Eubank, Jr. has just one lone loss on his record, as he fell to Billy Joe Saunders in 2014. The Hall of Famer’s son is 8-0 since. There have always been those skeptical of Eubank - that’s inherently going to happen when part of your push is based on your father’s status instead of your own. But he has also pushed back those doubts, including a very good and dominant KO win in the WBSS quarterfinals against Avni Yildirim. Eubank has been angling for a fight like this for awhile - he gets his wish here.
What can fans expect?
First and foremost, fans can expect a loud crowd. This is something of a dream fight for the current British scene, as these are two highly popular fighters at the top of their games and close to the top of the division. It’s also a super intriguing fight because questions remain about both men. Has Groves evolved past those losses? Just how good is Eubank? We truly don’t know the answer to either question, which makes this a great one. That’s reflected in the razor close odds where Eubank is currently just barely ahead at -190 to +155 for Groves. Personally, I have doubted Eubank, but he impressed me last time out, and I think has that something extra to turn back Groves, but it’s close - don’t be surprised if this one leads to some serious debates over scorecards.
Prediction: Chris Eubank Jr, Dec
Who should watch?
This one is worth your time for sure - it’s a good fight with a sure to be great environment. Plus there’s so much on the line - not just the finals and the belt, but also the supremacy in the division for the UK. That’s huge, and probably the most important piece for both men. And you know they will fight tooth and nail for it.