By Allan Fox: George Groves (26-3, 19 KOs) will be fighting this Saturday night on October 14 against unbeaten Jamie Cox (24-0, 13 KOs) in the World Boxing Super Series tournament at Wembley Stadium in London, UK.
(Photo credit: World Boxing Super Series)
Groves, 29, needs a victory over Cox to earn his way to the semifinals of the WBSS to meet up with IBF super middleweight champion Chris Eubank Jr. (26-1, 20 KOs), who beat Avni Yildirim (16-1, 10 KOs) last Saturday night in their quarterfinals match in Germany.
Eubank Jr. called out Groves after stopping Yildirim in the 3rd round of a 2-knockdown performance. Eubank Jr. says he sees his fight with Groves ending just like his contest against the 26-year-old Yildirim. That wasn’t much of a fight for Eubank Jr. He had Yildirim on the canvas in the 1st round, and he carried him in the 2nd before putting the Turkish fighter away in round 3.
“I think it’s going to be exactly the same as what we saw tonight,” said Eubank Jr. “I’m not playing anymore.”
Groves has the power to destroy Eubank Jr. quickly if he can land his punches. Eubank Jr. hasn’t had to deal with a puncher like Groves. The closest thing to Groves that Eubank Jr. has faced in the power department is Gary O’Sullivan, and he gassed out early after staggering Eubank Jr.
Eubank Jr. wants Groves to win on Saturday. That’s the guy that he wants to face most of all. Eubank Jr. claims that he’s been trying to get a fight against Groves for 3 years. Whether there’s any truth to that is the important question. Eubank Jr. hasn’t been doing much since his loss to Billy Joe Saunders since 2014 other than facing beatable guys.
Eubank Jr. used speed and massive punches to stop Yildirim. It was a mismatch from the start to finish. Eubank Jr. was far too good for the 26-year-old Yildirim to handle.
Groves looks like he’s getting better with each fight since his loss to Badou Jack in 2015. Groves has won his last 5 fights. In Groves’ last fight, he stopped Fedor Chudinov in the 6th round in an exciting match on May 27 at Bramall Lane in Sheffield, England. No one had ever beaten Chudinov like that before. Groves bombarded Chudinov with heavy shots until the fight was halted by referee Steve Gray in the 6th round. Chudinov could have gotten hurt of the fight had been allowed to continue. In Groves’ other wins in the last 2 years, he’s beaten Eduard Gutknecht, Martin Murray, David Brophy and Andrea Di Luisa.
Jamie Cox, 31, is going into the fight with Groves a heavy underdog. Cox hasn’t fought anyone near the level of Groves despite being in the pro ranks a year longer than him. Cox has been fighting for 10 years since he turned pro in 2007. For some reason, Cox has not been put in with quality opposition by his promoter. Whether they saw something in Cox that made them realize that he couldn’t be trusted fighting the best or if it was a case of them wanting to be careful with him. Whatever it is, Cox’s career has been arguably stunted for lack of good match-making. Now at 31, Cox is facing Groves, and it’s not likely that he’s going to be near ready to beat him on Saturday night in the World Boxing Super Series tournament.
These are the best guys Cox has fought thus far in his career:
• Obodai Sai
• Farenc Albert
• Martin Fidel Rios
• Jason Rushton
• Blas Miguel Martinez
• Lewis Taylor
Cox, 5’11”, looks like a decent brawler, but his punching power doesn’t look like it’s good enough to dent Groves’ chin. Cox started his pro career at welterweight a decade ago, but his power doesn’t seem to have carried up with him as he’s moved up in weight. At 31, Cox is punching more like a welterweight than a super middleweight. That’s going to be unwelcome news for him when he gets inside the ring with Groves and he has nothing to keep him off. Cox isn’t going to be able to rough up Groves to throw him off his game. In some of Cox’s fights, he seems to lose his cool and start fouling like mad. That’s not going to help him against Groves. Cox has got to come with a better plan to try and win the fight. Turning the fight into a physical affair isn’t the answer for Cox.
Cox’s 12 round unanimous decision win over Sai in 2011 was controversial. The boxing fans at ringside booed the results of the fight. They thought Sai should have had his hand raised. A rematch between Cox and Sai would have made all the sense in the world. Sai’s career has failed to flourish with him losing to Derrick Webster and Walter Kautondokwa. Cox’s opposition has gotten way worse since the Sai fight. Cox has been fighting really opponents, and not looking good in any of his fights. In Cox’s last 2 fights, he’s beaten Giorgia Kandelaki (19-25-3) and Ivan Jukic (24-11). Those are not the type of opponents that you normally see an unbeaten pro with 10 years’ experience fighting. There’s been a failure to launch with Cox’s career. Now he’s about to fight Groves, and it’s difficult to imagine a positive outcome for him based on his lackluster resume.
Groves is going to be going after Cox early to test out his chin. Groves obviously realizes that Cox has zero experience and hasn’t been tested during his career. Cox is going to get tested under fire on Saturday night. If he’s not able to stand and fight, this could be an early night for Groves. It would have been good if the organizers of the World Boxing Super Series tournament had matched Groves against Juergen Braehmer in his quarterfinals fight instead of Cox. That would be a better fight. Braehmer is fighting on October 27 against unbeaten Rob Brant in their quarterfinals match in the WBSS tournament Germany. Braehmer is a former WBA and WBO light heavyweight champion with a lot of talent. Braehmer has lost a step due to age, but he still seems to be fighting at an important level despite his advanced age.
Groves is going to likely start slowly against Cox in the first round to see what he’s got. In the 2nd round, Groves will start unloading on Cox with huge shots to the head and body. Cox likes to use a lot of mauling in his fights to smother his opponent’s offense. Cox will likely wrestle Groves on the inside, and possibly head-butt him and hit him with rabbit punches. Hopefully doesn’t use these tactics on Saturday night against Groves, but I think he will. This is how Cox fights. He does a lot of stalling and spoiling in his fights. Groves will have an answer for the grappling that Cox tries against him by nailing him with short punches on the inside. Once the referee breaks the two fighters, I see Groves nailing Cox with right hands and hurting him badly. Groves will finish Cox off once he has him buzzed. I see the fight being stopped by the 5th. I don’t think Cox has the chin or the talent to last beyond round 5 unless he’s going to hold nonstop. If that’s the case, he might make it the full 12 rounds but it’ll be ugly.