Season one of the World Boxing Super Series concludes today (Friday, September 28th) in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, as super-middleweights George Groves (28-3, 20 KOs) and Callum Smith (24-0, 17 KOs) compete not just for the Muhammad Ali Trophy, but millions of dollars in prize money and Groves’ WBA super-middleweight belt.
Groves’ path to the final involved a KO win over Jamie Cox in the quarterfinals, followed by a unanimous decision win over Chris Eubank Jr in the semifinal, after which the date of this final was delayed due to a Groves shoulder injury. Smith took care of Erik Skoglund in his quarterfinal matchup, then beat former kickboxing star Nieky Holzken in the semis, after Jurgen Braehmer was pulled from the tournament due to illness. As for why these two Englishmen are fighting in Saudi Arabia? I can only assume the Saudis produced a large sum to host the fight.
Bloody Elbow is here to provide live round-by-round coverage of the main event, which is expected to start at about 4 PM ET/1 PM PT. The undercard is expected to start at around 10 AM ET/7 AM PT, and you can catch all of the action on the DAZN live stream. ITV Box Office has the bout in the United Kingdom, at a cost of £16.95.
George Groves vs. Callum Smith
Round 1 - Not much happening in the first minute. A very cautious start. Smith throws a right hand down the middle and comes up short. Groves with a jab, then they both land right hands. Uppercut on the inside for Groves. Good body shot by Groves. Right hand by Smith and then he might have hit Groves late after the bell sounded. 10-9 Smith.
Round 2 - Groves jabs to the body and connects. Right hand by Smith leads to some clinching on the inside. Groves lands another body shot. Groves blocks a Smith right hand then connects on a jab upstairs. Counter right hand and a left by Smith. Groves answers back with a couple of shots. Good right hand by Groves. Things are opening up now. 20-18 Smith.
Round 3 - Groves gets the better of the jabbing exchanges, then evades a power punch from Smith. Sneaky left hand by Groves. Right hand scores for Smith, but Groves has sucess with a 1-2 combination. Smith rocks Groves with a right hand! They start trading heavy leather and Groves gets in a body shot! He appears to be recovered and has done well to get back into things. Cracking counter shot by Groves! Smith goes for the big right hand again but is off-target. 30-27 Smith.
Round 4 - Groves comes out pushing the jab both to the head and body. Smith gets Groves with another right hand but on the end of the punch. Good body shot by Groves and then a jab. Smith sticks out his jab but gets countered to the body. Groves dictating terms in this round. Uppercut and right cross by Groves. Smith on the front foot but Groves with most of the meaningful offense here. 39-37 Smith.
Round 5 - Smith blocks Groves’ right hand, but can’t block a pair of body punches. Smith misses an uppercut and Groves digs in the body once more with the right hand, followed by a jab. Smith lands a jab of his own. Groves content to counter for the most part. Quick left hand by Groves, followed by a right hand. Good right by Smith, but Groves comes back with a jab. Smith falls after an accidental tangling of the legs. 48-47 Smith.
Round 6 - Cracking right hand by Smith snaps Groves’ head back. Groves responds with a straight right to the body. The champ continues the body attack as Smith throws out the jab but doesn’t have much behind it. Snapping right by Groves followed by two left hooks from Smith, and a jab by Callum. Counter jab by Groves. Back to the body goes Groves, then upstairs with a right hand. Left hand stumbles Groves towards the ropes. Don’t know if he was genuinely hurt but Smith is being more aggressive. This is a close round. 58-56 Smith.
Round 7 - Nifty combination work in the center of the ring by Groves. Left hook by Groves gets countered with a right from Smith. Groves covers up well against the ropes. Down goes Smith but that was more of a push so no knockdown. Right hand by Groves behind the glove of Smith. Tries it again and it’s blocked. Jab comes in from Grove to the bride of Smith’s nose. Groves rocked with a left hook! Smith going for the finish against the ropes! Down goes Groves after a barrage of punches! He will not beat the count! Callum Smith wins by knockout and we have a new world champion!
Official result: Callum Smith def. George Groves by KO at 2:04 of round 7to become the new WBA super-middleweight champion and win the World Boxing Super Series super-middleweight tournament