No offense to George Groves and Callum Smith, two solid rumblers who should match up nicely to offer a good show when they meet in the World Boxing Super Series super middleweight final, but I and many fans are more jazzed to know when the cruiserweight finalists will fight.
The Brits Groves and Smith will tango in late summer or early fall, after a Groves injury pushed back the finale that was going to unfold June 2.
The 30-year-old Groves is the WBA “super” champion (28-3, 20 KO), and dislocated his shoulder in the final round of his semifinal win over Chris Eubank Jr in February.
”It is nice to get a provisional date,” said Groves. “We have got something to work towards now. I have been in the gym for a while now, so when we get an exact date we can focus in.”
”We know about Smith, we have seen him for a long time and obviously I boxed his brother (Paul Smith, in 2011, won via stoppage). We are supremely confident of getting the win and getting a good win. We already have some good sparring lined up, fighters similar to Smith. I am looking forward to getting back to work and winning the Ali Trophy.”
The WBC Diamond belt holder Smith (24-0, 17 KO) is 28 years old.
”It is great to finally to get the fight,” said Smith, of the Fighting Smith Family, the youngest of the clan, which includes Liam, Stephen and Paul. “It is the one I have wanted for a long time. I am really happy it is going to be Groves rather than anyone else, it is the fight the fans want, too.”
The revised date and venue for the George Groves vs Callum Smith Ali Trophy super middleweight final will be announced in the coming weeks, asserted a WBSS press release.
Now, the one that I most anticipate, the WBSS cruiserweight face-off, when and where will that unfold?
We know the endgame scrap will feature Murat Gassiev, who went from unknown to a fighter who got added to a ton of must watch lists with his work in the WBSS. The 24-year-old Russian has been learning from the ace tutor Abel Sanchez the Sanchez style of patient aggression.
His 2016 win over Jordan Shimmell opened eyes, and more opened when he downed solid vet Denis Lebedev seven months later.
He downed Pole Krzysztof Wlodarczyk in the WBSS cruiser opener in October last year, and then took out Yunier Dorticos in the semifinal.
When, then, is the final against Usyk, who will be the favorite with his (amateur) experience edge when the two fighters face off?
“They tell me July 21, no site yet. Crazy,” said Gassiev trainer Sanchez.
All in all, he’s not overly worried about the where aspect of the final.
OK, so at least you know when to get your guy ready for. Where is less important, because a pro does what he does everywhere he goes?
“Right,” Sanchez answered.
Readers, talk to me. You more pumped for the WBSS cruiser climax than the 168 one? Who wins, and how, Gassiev (26-0, 19 KO) vs Usyk (14-0, 11 KO)?