Super middleweight world titleholder George Groves and British countryman Chris Eubank Jr. will step into the ring in a semifinal fight in the World Boxing Super Series tournament on February 17th and fight fans may be in for a classic.
The former sparring partners will clash after trading verbal jabs back in November when the fight was officially announced.
“You’re an old man,” Eubank Jr said about Groves (h/t The Guardian). “You’re not the fighter you used to be. You are pretty average, you don’t have much speed, your defence is poor and your stamina is lacking. You can’t compete with me. I am too young, too fresh, too powerful, too quick and too good.”
“This is my time,” Eubank Jr proclaimed with supreme confidence.
“I am a different animal to a year or two ago but George is the same guy. I know what happened in training and when we sparred together – I know all about George as a fighter and a man. I know his weaknesses and strength. He will not handle the fire and the heat.”
“Eubank’s camp are totally deluded,” Groves said. “He is fighting in a division he doesn’t belong in. He is a middleweight who punches from his hips with his chin up in the air. He’s terrific for a soundbite. It’s made him Instafamous but this is different.”
Eubank (26-1, 20 KOs) seems to be a favorite according to the latest boxing odds from CrownBet, but Groves isn’t phased by any odds or expert predictions.
“I used to hear other boxers talk about levels and it used to frustrate me,” Groves said. “But now I understand: sometimes it doesn’t matter how much you prepare, there are just people you can’t beat. Sorry for Junior he is not good enough and he doesn’t have the pedigree. On the night I believe I’m unstoppable and you won’t see the 12th round.
Groves (27-3, 20 KOs) will be making the second defense of his 168-pound world title.
“I’ve won junior titles, ABA titles and boxed for England all over the world against future Olympic champions as an amateur – and then beat world-class fighters as a professional. People think he has phenomenal stamina, that I will fade and am going to get knocked out. He talks a good game. Let’s see if we can believe it. When he is being beaten badly, how is he going to cope?”
Groves also joked about Eubank calling him old.
“I am an old man and sometimes I struggle to keep up with some of the youngsters on the circuits,” Groves joked. “But at the same time, it is keeping me young. Fighting wise I feel rejuvenated and ready to roll.”
There is certainly interest in the bout as it only took 7 minutes for tickets to sell out at Manchester Arena, according to The Independent.
Betting for this match has also started to heat up. You can see all the latest betting odds at crownbet.com.au.
“This is a sensational start to the semi-finals of the World Boxing Super Series and the quest for the Muhammad Ali Trophy,” said Roberto Dalmiglio, Comosa’s CEO, at the time.
“I said before we went on sale that the fight between Groves and Eubank Jr. represents the boxing event fans cannot afford to miss, and I am happy to say that I was right.”
There is plenty on the line for both fighters, but it seems Groves is embracing the opportunity to pull off an upset in Manchester, England.
The semifinal winners will meet in the final in May at a location to be determined.