Groves vs. Chudinov to fight on Brook-Spence card on May 27

By Boxing News - 04/19/2017 - Comments

Image: Groves vs. Chudinov to fight on Brook-Spence card on May 27

By Scott Gilfoid: Matchroom Sport promoter Eddie Hearn is working on a deal to add #2 WBA super middleweight contender George Grove (25-3, 18 KOs) and #1 WBA Fedor Chudinov (14-1, 10 KOs) to the May 27th undercard of the Kell Brook vs. Errol Spence Jr. card at Bramall Lane in Sheffield, England.

This is Brook’s title defense of his IBF welterweight strap against arguably the best fighter in the 147lb division in Spence. Adding Groves-Chudinov to the card would give it a good basic undercard fight. The 29-year-old Groves and Chudinov will be fighting for the vacant WBA Super World super middleweight title.

If Groves loses to Chudinov, I don’t know what direction he can go in. It would be yet another loss for Groves, and another failure when it comes to him fighting for a world title. As of now, Groves is 0-3 in fighting for world titles. I don’t know why Groves keeps getting chances to fight for titles when he keeps losing over and over again. Why aren’t some of the other guys like Callum Smith and David Benavidez getting their shots at titles?

If Chudinov knocks Groves out cold in this fight, he might need to think about going in another direction with his career; whether that be retirement or perhaps boiling down to 160 to give the middleweight division a go. I wouldn’t recommend Groves moving up to light heavyweight at 175. If Groves can’t handle the punching power or guys like Chudinov, Badou Jack and Carl Froch at 168, then he sure as heck isn’t going to be able to deal with the power of the guys in the 175lb division.

Groves has good boxing skills, but I think he would be taken apart piece by piece by the likes of Artur Beterbiev, Oleksandr Gvozdyk, Sergey Kovalev, Andrzej Fonfara, Joe Smith Jr. and Eleider Alvarez in the 175 pound division. It’s safer for Groves if he moves down in weight to 160 rather than moving up in my view.

This could be a hard fight for Groves, because he’s facing someone with punching power. Groves has more or less breezed through his last 4 fights since being beaten by Badou Jack in 2015. He beat Eduard Gutknecht by a 12 round unanimous decision last November in a fight that ended on a bad note with Gutknecht being seriously hurt. Before that fight, Groves had beaten Martin Murray, David Brophy and Andrea Di Luisa. So what we’re talking about here is Groves coming off of 4 fights against lighter punchers.

When Groves gets inside the ring with the heavy-handed Chudinov, he’ll be dealing with a puncher. That’s been Groves’ Achilles heel his entire career. He has problems with guys that can punch. I really don’t know what’s going to happen with Groves once Chudinov hits him with a solid shot to the head.

The good news for Groves is Chudinov hasn’t knocked out anyone for the last 3 years in his boxing career. What’s bad about that is the guys that were able to handle Chudinov’s power, Felix Sturm and Frank Buglioni, are known for their strong chins. As such, it doesn’t mean anything at all that Chudinov hasn’t knocked anyone out lately. He can still punch with authority and if he catches Groves on the chin with one of his good shots, he might just nosedive into the canvas like he did against Froch and Badou Jack. I’m just saying. Don’t be surprised if Groves drops for the 10 count on May 27 once Chudinov taps him on the chin. It would be bad for Groves, but that’s how things go.

If Groves doesn’t belong at the top of the super middleweight division, then he’s going to be found out sooner or later. I don’t know if Chudinov is good enough to expose Groves, but he might be. I know that I wouldn’t like Groves’ chances against a big puncher like David Benavidez or Callum Smith. Groves against either of those guys would likely be bad for him. Benavidez seems to be a really dangerous puncher from the looks of him. Chudinov might have enough power to get Groves out of there too.

Chudinov hasn’t fought in over a year since his controversial 12 round majority decision loss to Felix Sturm in Germany. I thought Chudinov did enough to earn the victory in that fight. The fight was in Germany, and I’m not sure what more Chudinov needed to do for him to get the ‘W’ in that fight. He seemed to have won the fight by at least 4 rounds on the Boxing News 24 scorecard. But he was the visiting fighter, and you know how that goes. You need to REALLY beat the home fighter.

Groves wants to capture the World Boxing Association strap and then move forward for a big unification fight against IBF super middleweight champion James DeGale. Groves doesn’t have the luxury of looking past different fighters like some talented guys can. Groves is more of a blue collar type of fighter, who brings huge drama to his fights due to his tendency sometimes to get knocked out or badly hurt. You never know if Groves’ is going to get dropped or hurt in his fights. Carl Froch knocked Groves out twice, and Badou Jack had him down on the canvas. Martin Murray, Christopher Rebrasse and Kenny Anderson all had Groves hurt a one time in their fights.

”We’re in talks with George and Kalle regarding adding Groves-Chudinov to the huge Brook-Spence night in May,” said Hearn to Sky Sports News HQ. “We’re finalizing the paperwork now and hope for a formal announcement over the next few days,”

This is nice that Hearn is on the verge of announcing the Groves-Chudinov fight in the next few days. At least now there will be a decent fight on the undercard of the Brook vs. Spence fight. You’d hate to see that card with just the main event and a skeleton crew in terms of undercard fights. It might not matter who fights on the undercard if the Brook-Spence fight lives up to the high expectations of the boxing fans.

I have a feeling that it won’t. I smell mismatch from 3,000 miles away. I believe there’s a good chance that Spence blows Brook out of the water on May 27 by knocking him out straightaway in front of his loyal boing fans at Bramall Lane. But if that does happen, at least there will be a decent undercard fight between Groves and Chudinov that will possibly make the Bramall Lane fans happy.

Groves has a good chance of beating Chudinov. The Russian fighter has heavy hands like middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin, but like him, he’s very, very slow. I think Chudinov is even slower than Golovkin. That doesn’t mean that Chudinov can’t win this fight. But for Chudinov to beat Groves, he’s going to need to throw combinations and he’ll need to speed up his punches somehow. It’s no good if Groves is able to hit Chudinov three times for every slow punch that he lands.

Frank Buglioni almost knocked Chudinov out in their fight in 2015 when he opened up with a fast flurry of shots in the 6th round. It was Buglioni’s bad luck that he ran out of time in the round and wasn’t able to finish him off. Buglioni did knock Chudinov down, albeit after the round ended. That cost Buglioni 2 points with him being penalized heavily. Buglioni not only knocked Chudinov down, but he had him badly hurt. The weird thing about that is Buglioni didn’t even try and finish Chudinov off in the 7th round. You would think that with Chudinov hurt at the end of the 6th, Buglioni would have the presence of mind to go after him at the start of the 7th. He didn’t do that though. He let Chudinov off the hook, and he went on and won the fight by a 12 round decision.