Eubank Jr. – Groves won’t see the 12th round
By Marcus Richardson: IBO super middleweight champion Chris Eubank Jr. (26-1, 20 KOs) says he’s confident that WBA super middleweight champion George Groves (27-3, 20 KOs) will not be around to see the 12th round in their semifinals match in the World Boxing Super Series on February 17 at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England.
(Photo credit: World Boxing Super Series)
Eubank Jr. says he’s improved his own game from his loss 3 years ago to Billy Joe Saunders, and he’s not the same fighter he was back then or even the same guy he was last year. Eubank Jr. says Groves is the same fighter he was last year and the year before that. He’s not seen any improvement in Groves’ game.
Both fighters are coming into their February 17 fight with long winning streaks. Eubank Jr. has won his last 8 fights. For his part, Groves has a 6-fight winning streak. Unfortunately, neither of them has beaten the cream of the crop at 168. They’ve mostly feasted off of weaker opposition in record-padding fights.
“I rise to the occasion always. The bigger the fight, the better I perform,” said Eubank Jr. “George seems to be hanging up on how I’m going to perform. He needs to worry about himself, because thinking about what I’m going to do isn’t going to get him anywhere. I’m going to do what I’ve been doing all my career, and that’s following my intuition and finding a way to overcome any and all obstacles,” said Eubank Jr.
Predicting what Eubank Jr. and Groves are going to do in their fight in February is impossible. Neither fighter has fought anyone good enough to know what they’re capable of. We know from watching Eubank Jr. fight that he can beat limited guys like Avni Yildirim, Arthur Abraham, Renold Quinlan, Tom Doran, Nick Blackwell, Gary O’Sullivan, Tony Jeter and Dmitri Chudinov. Gilberto Ramirez did a better job beating Abraham than Eubank Jr. did. When Eubank Jr. had the opportunity to face a good opponent for his first fight in the World Boxing Super Series, he chose a weak opponent in Yildirim. That move suggests that Eubank Jr. lacks courage to take true tests. We know that Eubank Jr. also hesitated when given the chance to fight Gennady Golovkin last year.
Groves hasn’t fought anyone good either since his loss to Badou Jack in 2015. Since that fight, Groves has beaten Andrea Di Luisa, David Brophy, Martin Murray, Eduard Gutknecht, Fedor Chudinov and Jamie Cox. Groves could have fought a lot better fighters than those guys, but he didn’t. He also hand-picked Jamie Cox instead of selecting one of the better fighters from the WBSS like Callum Smith.
”I read a statement the other day where George said that if he boxes the same as he did against Jamie Cox in his last fight, then he’ll have no problems beating me,” said Eubank Jr. ”The statement started with an ‘If’. That means there’s a possibility of him not being able to do that. There aren’t any ifs and buts as far as I’m concerned. It doesn’t matter if my game plan goes completely out the window. I will find a way to stop George Groves,” said Eubank Jr.
Eubank Jr. could beat Groves if he can come up with the right game plan, and adapt if things aren’t working out. Eubank Jr. throws a lot of uppercuts, and he likes to throw combinations. He’s going to have to be careful, because he’s predictable in what he does. Fighters that throw a lot of uppercuts get knocked out when they fight guys that know how to fight. Eubank Jr. has gotten away with his bad habit of throwing repeated uppercuts because he’s been facing such poor opposition through most of his career. Groves is the type that could make Eubank Jr. pay for being so one dimensional. Callum Smith can make Eubank Jr. pay as well.
Eubank Jr. is a high volume puncher. He wins his fights by throwing a lot of shots. What you must be concerned with in looking at how Eubank Jr. fights is the amount of times he’s going to be hit by Groves. If Groves is able to land his best shots on Eubank Jr. on February 17, then there’s a good chance that he’ll hurt him with something and put him down. If Groves lands one of his big body shots like he did against Cox, then it’s unlikely that Eubank Jr. will be able to survive that. Groves has hurt his last 2 opponents Cox and Chudinov with body shots. You can expect Groves to try to do the same thing against Eubank Jr.
”There’s no chance he’s going to take this away from me. I will find a way to stop George Groves,” said Eubank Jr. ”I’m a man of my word, and George, you won’t see the 12th round. This is my time. I’m a different animal to what I was 2 years ago, a year ago. George is the same guy. I know what he’s capable of, and what he’s not capable of. I know what his weaknesses are and his strengths. Nothing he has can outweigh the fire that is going to be brought down upon him,” said Eubank Jr.
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