By Jim Dower: Chris Eubank Jr. is ready to put George Groves into retirement tonight, he says. Eubank Jr. (26-1, 20 KOs) states that he’s coming to devastate WBA Super World super middleweight champion Groves (27-3, 20 KOs) in their semifinals fight in the World Boxing Super Series tournament at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England.
The 28-year-old Eubank Jr. says Groves is ripe for the taking. To be fair, Groves hasn’t shown any signs of being fading as a fighter. In fact, Groves is fighting better now than he ever has during his 10-year pro career. Eubank Jr. is obviously talking in helping to promote the fight. This is far from a slam dunk win for Eubank Jr. Despite the bold prediction from Eubank Jr., he could lose tonight to Groves.
“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’m coming to devastate the man and take the (WBA super middleweight) belt back to seaside,” Eubank Jr. said to Michelle Phelps of World Boxing Super Series.”
Eubank Jr. will likely take the fight to Groves and try to get the better of him with his speedy shots and high volume work rate. That’s how Eubank Jr. wins his fights. He can at times beat his opponents with pot shots. That’s how Eubank Jr. used to fight earlier in his career. He would land a single shot and then stop and pose. Eubank Jr. stopped fighting that way after he suffered an embarrassing loss to Billy Joe Saunders in 2014. Eubank Jr. changed his style after that loss. He now wins his fights by throwing a high number of punches to overwhelm the defense of his opponents. For that style to work for Eubank Jr. his entire career, it’s incumbent on him fighting guys with limited power and boxing skills. Using a high volume punch attack against opposition with power and talent is too risky for Eubank Jr. because he could get hurt. But until then, Eubank Jr. likely won’t change his style of fighting.
It’s going to take another defeat for Eubank Jr. before he’ll adapt his style a second time. He changed once after losing to Saunders. Eubank Jr. could change again if he gets beaten by Groves or someone else.
”Fear, regret and defeat,” Eubank Jr. said when asked what he saw in the eyes of Groves during their face off at last Friday’s weigh-in. ”He’s there for the taking. He’s ready to be put into retirement. I’m going to help him on his way,” Eubank Jr. said.
Groves looked like a dead man walking at the weigh-in on Friday. He was so weight drained from having to melt down to make the 168 lb. weigh-in limit, he looked in poor shape. Groves’ face was completely drawn and the dark circles under his eyes suggest that he had a hard time making the weight. Eubank Jr. might have seen a drained fighter in Groves. It could be different tonight though as long as Groves has adequately rehydrated without being weakened from making the weight.
”I’ve been doing this for years. It’s all just a day’s work,” Eubank Jr. said. ”I’m happy, I’m ready and I’ve been preparing for this my entire life. So now it’s just have to go in there and prove the doubters wrong. Be ready for war, that’s all he’s got to be,” Eubank Jr. continued.