Today at 5 pm ET on ITV Box Office in the UK and various other outlets around the world, and maybe on YouTube in the United States, George Groves meets Chris Eubank Jr in a fight that should have great atmosphere in Manchester, and serves not only as a world title fight, but a ticket to the World Boxing Super Series final.
Groves (27-3, 20 KO) will be defending his WBA super middleweight title against Eubank (26-1, 20 KO), and both fighters have displayed a lot of confidence and plenty of trash talk coming into the bout. It’s going to be a big fight, period, but the added pressure of the tournament could make it something special.
Both Groves and Eubank dominated their opening round bouts, with Groves smashing Jamie Cox in four rounds, and Eubank thrashing Avni Yildirim in three.
The winner will move on to face the victor of next Saturday’s bout in Germany, pitting Callum Smith against veteran Juergen Braehmer.
- George Groves def. Chris Eubank Jr by unanimous decision (115-113, 116-112, 117-112)
GEORGE GROVES vs CHRIS EUBANK JR
Round 1: Crowd is hot and split. Eubank looks extremely confident ahead of the bell, laid back and focused. Groves bouncing around. Both shooting jabs to start, Groves doing a bit more. Eubank looking like he wants to counter so far, and he just misses on a right and left hook. Not an action packed round, but Groves did more work, made more effort. Groves 10-9
Round 2: Eubank with a jab. Groves fires a flurry, none of it lands. Boy, there is nothing really landing clean so far. Eubank with a decent right. Everything counts right now in a big way. Groves still controlling the tempo and distance, and then Eubank trying to showcase his speed very suddenly, just flinging himself at Groves in the corner. Groves misses a counter right, a home run punch. Groves 10-9, 20-18
Round 3: Groves lands a glancing right hand, Eubank badly misses a wild counter shot. There’s Eubank with a hook to the body and right up top, and Eubank just swinging wildly at Groves! Groves swinging back and ties up! Eubank’s sudden bursts could be trouble for Groves if a big shot does land clean and buzz him. Eubank cut near the right eye. Groves back to holding distance. A minute left in the round. Groves popping the jab out. Eubank with a lead right after eating a jab, not sure Eubank got home with it and was tied up. Eubank misses a wild left hook to end the round. Groves 10-9, 30-27
Round 4: The cut, which is not good, was caused by an accidental headbutt. Eubank with another fruitless flurry. If he gets there with some of this stuff, the fight could change in a blink, but he’s not there so far. Groves is more patient, doing better work even if he’s not doing anything exceptional. Crowd starting to boo some with about 40 seconds left in this round. This is very reminiscent of Eubank’s loss to Billy Joe Saunders. Eubank with a hook, gets tied up again. THERE’S a good hook from Groves, but he eats it and ties up to end the round. Nod to Eubank this round for a couple good shots. Eubank 10-9, Groves 39-37
Round 5: Eubank is wild and missing shots, but some of these are getting close, and Groves wants nothing to do with a close quarters fight, understandably. He’s doing well at distance. Eubank’s eye bleeding again after a jab, but it’s outside so probably not bothering his vision much. Groves with a shot to the back of the head, he gets warned. Groves working with Eubank barreling toward him. Groves warned again. Sloppy, choppy round from Eubank. Groves is simply the more polished fighter, or at least that’s how it’s playing out thus far. I think this is getting more interesting, and there’s a feeling that it can always turn quickly, but I like Groves so far. Groves 10-9, 49-46
Round 6: More chippy stuff early in this round, and the referee brings them together for a quick chat. A lot of the talk leading up to the fight was about levels, and so far Groves’ claims that this was another level for Eubank has proven largely true. Eubank is dangerous because he’s got those physical skills, but nothing he’s doing is really effective. Lots of weird, ugly mauling attempts from Eubank, none of it clean work, none of it doing much of anything. Groves 10-9, 59-55
Round 7: Let’s see if Eubank can switch gears in the second half as he did against Saunders. Groves still wants to work with the jab, but Eubank is doing a bit better this round, even though he’s often eating shots with the left to get there. Eubank continues to miss wildly. Eubank does get a hook in, but then misses another. Eubank getting a little hot-headed, talking in the ring. Groves giving Eubank some lessons in this one, I’d say. Groves 10-9, 69-64
Round 8: By TV’s account, Eubank’s corner knows he’s not using the right tactics, that this just isn’t working. Groves continues to control the distance. Eubank has not been creative or clever enough at all. I say that, and Eubank lands his odd long left hook, only for Groves to avoid the follow-up easily. Right hand from Groves lands. HEY! Suddenly some action, both guys landing good shots, and the heads come together once more. Good end to the round. Groves 10-9, 79-73
Round 9: Eubank comes out VERY fast in this round, finally gets his uppercut moving a little bit, and forces Groves to tie up. Groves has been outwardly comfortable this entire fight, though. Even under fire, he’s not panicking, not getting clumsy. Eubank with another heavy attack, heads clash again. Eubank catches Groves with one shot, the rest doesn’t get there, but damn is he going for it right now. He’s taking a lot of risks, and that’s admirable, at least. Not the tidiest way to win a round, but I think he won this one. That cut’s really going now, too. Eubank 10-9, Groves 88-83
Round 10: Eubank out and firing again with a lead hook. Groves handles it. No follow-up from Eubank. 1-2 from Groves lands. Back to range where Groves is winning. Groves landing good shots now! Eubank slips at center ring, but comes back swinging away. The blood is bothering him now, too. Groves landing, Eubank throwing bombs back, Groves on the front foot and Eubank against the ropes. He ties up. Groves 10-9, 98-92
Round 11: It’s not the most exciting showing or anything, not by a long shot, but Groves really has been effective in this fight and outboxed Eubank. You talk levels, this has been a levels fight. Eubank misses a big left and walks onto a right hand, but eats it and charges forward. Eubank is looking gassed and desperate, he’s bleeding, and his only shot, at least as far as I see it, is a KO. Eubank throwing wildly and gets clipped with another right at the end of the round. Groves 10-9, 108-101
Round 12: Let’s see if Eubank has a miracle in him. He’s going for it straight off, hurling his body at Groves again. Eubank just throwing crazy video game haymakers at Groves, who is covering up and defending. Groves with a couple body shots against the ropes. Eubank pressuring, Groves avoiding the mess. Eubank is throwing everything he has at Groves here, and has at various points all night, but Groves is just the better fighter. Or has been. Groves fighting in the corner, with Eubank landing shots. Eubank clocks Groves with a right hand, the blood hits the camera. Eubank is POURING IT ON! Hook from Eubank hurts Groves! Groves back with a couple shots! Great final round, but I think we have a clear winner in this fight. Eubank 10-9, Groves 117-111