By Scott Gilfoid: As expected, WBA Super World super middleweight champion George Groves (27-3, 20 KOs) made easy work of challenger Jamie Cox (24-1, 13 KOs) in blasting him out in 4 rounds on Saturday night. The big win for Groves puts him in the semifinals of the World Boxing Super Series tourney against IBO 168lb champion belt holder Chris Eubank Jr. for early next year.
Earlier tonight, Groves and Cox battled it out at the SSE Arena in London, England. The fight was entertaining until the very end with Groves putting the coup de Grace right-hand shot to the rib-cage finisher that put the 31-year-old Cox down on the canvas face first. There was no getting up from that knocked down for Cox.
The number 1 seed of the World Boxing Super Series tournament, Groves, will now be facing the number 3 seed in Eubank Jr. in January.
Groves, 29, has become something of a body puncher as of late. 3 of his recent knockouts have come from shots to the body. I think it’s fair to say that Groves is now a better body puncher than he is to the head. With Badou Jack now gone from the super middleweight division, Groves has emerged as the best body puncher in the 168 lb. division. Groves might want to focus on throwing to the body when he gets Chris Eubank Jr. in the ring in their semifinals fight in January in the World Boxing Super Series tournament.
Cox fought well at times, but he kept leaving himself open to Groves’ big power shots. Even when Cox was landing, he lacked the huge power that he needed to hurt Groves. Cox’s shots gave Groves something to think about at times, but it wasn’t the worry shots that Carl Froch and Badou Jack had landed in their wins over him.
Cox said after the fight that Groves wasn’t as powerful as he thought he would be. It’s unclear why Cox went down for the count of Groves wasn’t that hard for a puncher. It would have been interesting to hear what Cox would have to say about that.
“He placed the shots quickly and he’s a very great champion,” said Cox after the fight. “I knew that before coming in here. I prepared well. I made a mistake and he made me pay. It was a great fight until the end. I thought I was coming into the fight, and he landed a good shot to the body. I expected him to be stronger. He had very good boxing. I could handle his power, but he placed his shots very well. Fair credit to George. I’m an aggressive fighter, and George made me overcommit on the aggressiveness,” said Cox.
So, Cox says he could handle Groves’ power, because he’s not that big of a puncher. It’s too bad Cox didn’t take the high road and give Groves credit after the fight. It always looks bad when a fighter starts grumbling after the defeat and failing to give credit where credit is due. Cox hasn’t’ been knocked out before, so it’s unclear who he sparred with that hits harder than Groves. Cox should have been fighting a lot more defensively than he did, because that wouldn’t have made it so easy for Groves to knock him out.
“I picked Jamie Cox because I believed he was the most dangerous fighter,” said Groves after the fight. “I didn’t want an easy fight. I knew Jamie would ask question. I knew he was tough. I trained alongside him 10 to 12 years ago. I know what Jamie’s about. Another fantastic win under my belt, and we’re onto the next due whoever that is. I was landing my big body shots on Jamie the whole night. I knew he was a fit guy. In the end I think it was a right hook to the body. It smashed through. It was a crippling shot. I don’t blame him for not getting up. Since I started working with Shane McGuigan, I’ve had 4 knockouts, and 3 with body shots. Don’t give me a target to the body. I’m going to take advantage of it, and you might not get up,” said Groves.
Groves is becoming a body puncher after 9 years in the pro ranks. It’s too bad that Groves wasn’t punching to the body 3 to 4 years ago when he fought Carl Froch in 2 fights. He could have used his body punching to give him an edge against Froch. No one ever really hurt Froch with head shots. It might have helped Groves if he focused his big shots to the body of Froch, who was always lean and thin. I don’ know if Froch could take body shots.
“Eubank, we shared the ring many times,” said Groves. “He’s been one of my sparring partners over the years. He knows what I’m all about. I know what Chris is all about. I felt Jamie was a world class middleweight. He wasn’t going to be a super middleweight. The same can be said for Chris Eubank. He’s just not big enough,” said Groves.
Jamie Cox is clearly fighting in the wrong division for his body size. He needs to move down to middleweight where he’s more suited to. Cox probably moved up to super middleweight due to it being a weaker division than at middleweight. There are too many talented fighters at 160 right now, and Cox likely wouldn’t get this kind of an opportunity in that weight class. Cox would have to earn a title shot at middleweight instead of having it given to him after 10 years of fighting fodder opposition from the 2nd and 3rd tier ranks.
“It was a good fight,” said Eubank Jr. about the Groves vs. Cox fight. “He did what he had to do to win. Not too many cuts and bruises, so it looks like we’re on for January. He did what he had to do. It was a nice body shot. Jamie Cox came out here and put on a hell of a show. Groves, like I said, I think he had a little too much experience and he landed the shot right. Now we have the super fight for the fans,” said Eubank Jr.
As you can tell, Eubank Jr. wasn’t into giving Groves any compliments tonight after his win over Cox. It doesn’t matter. Groves got the win and he’ll now be fighting Eubank Jr. in January. The best man will win. It’s hard to pick a winner for the Groves vs. Eubank Jr. fight, but I’d have to lean in the direction of George. Eubank Jr. will leave himself open for a big shot with the way he throws so many punches.
“It wasn’t too difficult tonight,” said Groves. “He wasn’t too tough. I’m still feeling fresh. I’m ready to go in January. This is going to be a good fight. The fans are going to love it,” said Groves about his fight with Eubank Jr. Eubank Jr., to his credit, he’s always been all action. He’s never boxed anyone like me. He’s got a bit of momentum, but no quite the form. The momentum has put him in the frame of mind,” said Groves.
Eubank Jr. did fight a big puncher in his last fight against Avni Yildirim and in his fight before that against Arthur Abraham. Those guys were too slow and didn’t throw enough punches for them to be competitive. Groves will need to time Eubank Jr. for him to negate his hand speed and boxing skills advantage in that fight. There’s little chance that Groves will be able to match the hand speed of Eubank Jr. or his tremendous work rate. As such, Groves needs to time Eubank Jr. and try and hurt him with a body shot like he did tonight in knocking out Cox in round 4 with a big right hand body shot.
“Sparring is training. What matters is what is going to happen in January, and as far as I’m concerned, I’m the number 1 seed in the tournament,” said Eubank Jr. “I’m going to go in there and show everybody where my confidence comes from.”
If Groves wasn’t right there in front of Eubank Jr. inside the ring, I think we’d have seen some trash talking by him. Eubank Jr. played it safe by being diplomatic in front of Groves, because if he had started to trash talk him, it would have erupted into an argument and a ton of booing from the boxing fans, which were on Groves’ side. Heck, Eubank Jr. was booed anyway after he started doing a bit of yapping about the sparring sessions that he’d had in the past with Groves.
“In sparring, I know what happened in those instances,” said Eubank Jr. about his past sparring with Groves. “Like I said, those were in the past. Now we have the opportunity here to put on a magic fight in Britain with the titles on the line and the Muhammad Ali trophy. I can’t wait. It’s going to be great,” said Eubank Jr.
The sparring between Groves and Eubank Jr. took place a long time ago, and neither guy was trying to knock each other out like they’ll be trying to do when they meet up in January in the World Boxing Super Series tournament semifinals in the UK.