Froch picks Groves as favorite to win WBSS
By Scott Gilfoid: Former 168 lb. champion Carl Froch has WBA super middleweight champion George Groves as the favorite in the World Boxing Super Series over the likes of Callum Smith, Chris Eubank Jr. and Erik Skoglund. The series is lacking is missing a lot of the other top 168 lb. fighters like the Dirrell brothers, James DeGale, Gilberto Ramirez, David Benavidez and Jose Uzcategui. Not having those guys in the tournament takes a lot of the intrigue, because those are guys that would have a chance against anyone in the tourney.
“It would be very interesting with those three,” Froch said to skysports.com. “It’s out of Groves, Eubank Jnr and Callum Smith to win it. Maybe Groves is the favorite, but not a strong favorite.”
Groves, 29, has an easy first fight against Jamie Cox (24-0, 13 KOs) on October 14 at the Wembley Arena, in London, UK. That should be a real mismatch for Groves, who is leagues better than Cox. I’m still trying to figure out why the 30-year-old Cox was included in the tournament rather than some of the talents like Ramirez, Benavidez and Uzcategui. I can understand why DeGale wouldn’t be a good option for the series. He took a lot of punishment in his recent fight against
I rate the World Boxing Super Series best fighters as follows:
1. Callum Smith
2. George Groves
3. Chris Eubank Jr.
4. Juergen Braehmer
5. Rob Brant
6. Avni Yildirim
7. Jamie Cox
8. Erik Skoglund
Groves can win the WBSS if his chin and stamina hold out against the likes of Eubank Jr., Braehmer and Smith. It’s a big If for Groves to be able to handle the hard head shots he’s going to be getting hit with. Callum Smith is also a great body puncher. I have my doubts whether Groves will be able to take it to the body without falling apart quickly under fire. Badou Jack wore Groves out something awful in their fight 2 years ago. Badou took the steam completely out of Groves’ offense boy going downstairs with a committed body attack in the first 6 rounds. Badou let off with throwing body shots in the 2nd half of the contest after noticing that Groves had weakened and was basically harmless as a kitten. I would have loved to have seen what would have happened if Badou had continued to fee Groves with body shots for the full 12 rounds instead of for just half the fight. I think it’s likely Groves would have been on the canvas clutching his midsection in pain in the second half of the fight if Badou had continued to nail him. Eubank Jr. will be a problem for Groves because of his work rate. He won’t stop throwing punches unlike Martin Murray and Chudinov in their fights with Groves. The only way Groves is going to beat Eubank Jr. is if he jumps on him early and bangs him out with power shots in the first half of the fight. It has to be in the first 6 rounds though. Groves gasses after 6 rounds when he’s forced to fight at a fast pace. Eubank Jr. is not going to let off on Groves in the last 6 rounds of the fight. He’ll keep the pace high until Groves implodes. That’s why it’s crucial for Groves to swing for the fences in the first half of the bout to get Eubank Jr. out of there before his high pace offense causes Groves to fall apart like an old car with 300,000 miles on it.
Froch beat Groves twice in the past. Their fight in 2014 at Wembley Stadium was seen by over 80,000 boxing fans. Froch knocked Groves out for the second time. I’m wondering if Froch is picking Groves because he fought him twice and beat him. You know how that goes. Maybe Froch wants to be the only guy that has ever whipped Groves. Of course, Badou Jack beat Groves by a 12-round split decision a couple years ago on September 12, 2015.
Groves has won his last 5 fights since then in beating mostly weak opposition. Groves stopped former WBA champion Fedor Chudinov I the 6th round in his last fight on May 27. Chudinov had Groves hurt in the 1st round after nailing him with some heavy shots. But unfortunately for Chudinov, he didn’t keep nailing him with shots. I definitely didn’t like the reaction from Groves at the few solid shots to the head that he took from the Russian Chudinov. Groves looked like he was quickly coming unglued in the same way he did against Froch. Had Chudinov continued to pour it on like this at the same pace, I’m sure that the fight would have been over quickly with Groves being knocked out. I’m still not sure why Chudunov didn’t continue to blast Groves with punches to the head, because it was clear that he was having excellent success with those shots. Chudinov instead opted to cover up the way that Martin Murray did against Groves, turning into a sparring partner type of opponent. Once Groves saw that Chudinov wasn’t going to throw punches, he teed off on him from rounds 2-6 until the fight was halted in the 6th.
Froch lost in the Super Six tournament 6 years ago in getting beaten by Andre Ward by a 12-round decision. During the tournament, Froch beat Andre Dirrell, Arthur Abraham and Glen Johnson. Froch was beaten by Mikkel Kessler and Ward. Never the less, Froch became popular from the 2-year tournament, as the entire UK was following the tournament closely. After the tournament, Froch was suddenly a big name, and his career took off from there. Perhaps the same thing will happen with Groves if he wins the World Boxing Super Series. I don’t know if he’s got the chin to win the tournament. I think Callum Smith will win the tournament. His toughest competition is Chris Eubank Jr., who throws a lot of shots and has good hand speed for a super middleweight.
“Callum Smith’s been tapping on the door now for a WBC world-title shot: he was lined up to fight Anthony Dirrell, Andre Dirrell’s brother, and that’s for some reason not happened,” said Froch.
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