Groves v Eubank Jr. - Preview, Predictions and Betting Tips
On February 17, Manchester Arena plays host to one of the standout domestic fights of 2018, as George Groves faces Chris Eubank Jr. in the World Boxing Super Series semi-final, live on ITV Box Office.
Not only is a place in the super-middleweight World Boxing Super Series final against the winner of Jurgen Brahmer and Callum Smith’s bout up for grabs, but Groves will be putting his WBA world super-middleweight title on the line.
Both men came through their quarter-final bouts with comfort, Groves defeating Jamie Cox with a 4th round KO, while Eubank Jr. stopped Turk Avni Yildirim in the 3rd round.
Defeat for either fighter could be hugely damaging to their careers. Groves has already lost three times in his professional career, twice to Carl Froch in two epic encounters, as well as a third world-title shot when he took on Badou Jack across the pond.
Eubank Jr. meanwhile has just the one blemish on his career, having lost on a split decision against Billy Joe Saunders back in 2014, but has since gone on to win his eight corresponding fights. Groves has won six in a row heading into this potentially defining bout, finding himself rejuvenated after hiring Shane McGuigan in the aftermath of his defeat to Jack.
Carl Froch twice fought Groves and sparred with Eubank Jr. and from his experiences with both in the ring, the ‘Cobra’ had no unwavering doubt with his prediction for the showdown in Manchester.
"I'm going to get this out of the way now," he said. "I've sparred one, fought the other of course, and it is impossible for me to make a case for Groves to win their fight.
"We've all seen and read what they've both come out with and yes, it is not until February, but I will not change my mind. It is Mission Impossible for Groves.
"I just don't think he has the capability of stopping Chris Eubank Jr and now, if you don't stop Chris Eubank Jr you don't win on points. Ever since that loss to Billy Joe Saunders, he hasn't messed around, took his time or taken his foot off the gas early on and to me, he is now super fit."
However, another one of Groves’ previous opponents, James DeGale, has given Saint George his backing to see off Eubank Jr. and set up a mega-fight at the end of the year.
"I think Groves wins," he told Sky Sports.
"It's a good competitive fight but I think Groves wins, because of his experience and he's a massive super-middleweight.
"I think we'll see him winning the first six rounds fairly easily, I think Eubank will come into the fight but I think Groves wins it on points."
Both fighters have 20 knockouts to their name, Groves doing so from 30 fights, Eubank Jr. after 27. Six of Eubank Jr’s last eight victories have come via KO/TKO and his overwhelming style could give Groves real problems, particularly later in the fight. That said, Groves has gone the distance in two of his last four fights, winning both by unanimous decision as well as going 12 rounds with Badou Jack on his CV. The feud between these two fighters has been building for some time, and expect fireworks when they finally clash next month.
Groves win - 11/8
Draw - 20/1
Eubank Jr. win - 4/7
Betting Tips and Predictions
Eubank Jr. to win by KO/TKO or Disqualification - 13/8
Eubank Jr. to win in Rounds 9-12 - 7/1