The two Brits will square off at a sold out Manchester Arena on Saturday night.
George Groves v Chris Eubank Jr
The World Boxing Super Series continues on Saturday night with Manchester playing host to the first semi-final in the Super Middleweight division between George Groves and Chris Eubank Jr. The tournament so far has seen some spectacular fights with this bout having all the ingredients to produce another, as WBA champion meets IBO champion for a place in the final and the opportunity to lift the Muhammad Ali Trophy.
George Groves progressed through to the semi-finals after a fourth round stoppage of Jamie Cox back in October. The Saint had to weather an early storm from the challenger, but his punching power proved too much for Cox as a right hook to the body left the challenger on the canvas with the ref counting him out. Groves undoubtedly comes into this fight as the stronger man. Eubank Jr has not stepped into a ring with anyone possessing the punching power of Groves and if he can utilise his strong jab, this would provide Eubank with some questions he has yet to face in his 27-fight career. The Hammersmith man is by far the more experienced of the two and has competed at world level on numerous occasions. This experience dwarfs that of Eubank's, who has arguably only fought Billy Joe Saunders (and lost) of any note – along with an ageing Arthur Abraham and an unproven Avni Yildirim would not have caused Groves any problems either.
Having said this, Eubank comes into this fight full of confidence (a confident member of the Eubank family – where have we heard that before) off the back of a third round annihilation of Yildirim in Stuttgart. His reputation has continued to soar in recent years after several impressive knockout performances. Chris Eubank Snr, or ‘English’ as he has tried to be known as more recently, was seen too often over shadow Jnr in his early career but has since took more of a back seat and has left his son do the talking for himself, in and out of the ring. Eubank is gifted with lightning quick hand speed of which he is not frightened to display on social media, and punch combinations that could upset Groves’ rhythm. If Jnr is to succeed, he needs to get inside the Groves’ jab and let his hands go. The hope in the Eubank camp is that the speed combinations will take their toll on Groves late on in the fight and the youth of Eubank will prevail.
The bookmakers have struggled to split these two with Eubank Jr slight favourite at 3/4 with Betstars and Marathon Bet best price on George Groves at 17/11. With the fight being so close to call, value can be found in the Method of Victory market. Carl Froch has seemingly negated the fear of Groves’ punching power after stating that he has previously landed his best on Chris Eubank Jr in sparring too little effect, meaning that I will be siding with the Brighton man on the night. The 14/5 on offer from Black Type for Eubank to win by Decision or Technical Decision is the way I would be siding although it would not be a total surprise if he got George Groves out of there early, with the KO priced at 19/10.