By Marcus Richardson: Chris Eubank Jr. (26-2, 20 KOs) feels he did enough to deserve a close against WBA Super World super middleweight champion George Groves (28-3, 20 KOs) in their fight on Saturday night at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England.
(Photo credit: World Boxing Super Series)
The judges didn’t agree with Eubank Jr. though. They scored it for Groves by a 12 round unanimous decision by the scores 117-112, 116-112 and 115-113.
Groves suffered a dislocated left shoulder in round 12. Not surprisingly, this was the best round of the fight for Eubank Jr. He was able to take advantage of Groves’ injury to land a lot of shots. Groves was taken to a nearby hospital after the fight, and his left shoulder was reportedly put back in place.
Eubank Jr. says he came on in the later rounds and won those rounds against the 29-year-old Groves, and he should be given the decision.
Eubank Jr. sounded like a fighter in denial, unable to admit that he lost and not giving Groves much credit at all. Eubank Jr. said that the size difference between them was significant, and he thinks that his performance was impacted by him having suffered a cut from a head-butt in round 3.
“Of course I am disappointed,” Eubank Jr. said after the fight. “This is boxing. It was a good fight. I thought I did enough to nick it, but George had a good game plan. I hope he’s OK. He’s in the hospital now. Did I underestimate him a little bit? Maybe. Did size come into it? Yeah, I felt the size difference. I thought I was getting a lot of shots inside. He caught me with a few jabs here and there. I guess that was enough to win some of the rounds,” Eubank Jr. said.
The size definitely looked like it played a large part in the fight. Groves was much bigger, and he used his weight when he was manhandling Eubank Jr. in close to keep him from getting his shots off. Eubank Jr. was too thin to wrestle free each time Groves would grab him in a clinch on the inside.
Eubank Jr’s only chances to land shots were when he was fighting in close, because on the outside he was getting out-punched by Groves’ hard jab. Groves had the better job by far, and he was able to catch Eubank Jr. with it all night.
”George head-butted me a lot of times in the fight,” Eubank Jr. said. ”I don’t know how he didn’t get points taken away from him. This is 101 combat. You do what you have to do and that’s what he did.”
The head-butts were being caused by Eubank Jr. all night long, as he was the one coming forward trying to get in close to land shots. Groves was able to lower his head in the instances where Eubank Jr. would come forward with his face first. Each clash of heads in the fight was initiated by Eubank Jr. The cut that he suffered in round 3 was his own fault for coming straight into Groves like a bull.
”I didn’t know his shoulder was dislocated,” Eubank Jr. said. ”He isn’t the same fighter he was when we had the sparring sessions.”
Eubank Jr. gave Groves a compliment by saying he’s improved since they sparred together in the distant past. That was one of the rare compliments Eubank Jr. gave him.
”I couldn’t see out of my right eye most of the fight, and the cut effected my style,” Eubank Jr. said. ”I resorted to loading up, because every time he would move to my right, I couldn’t see him. So I would start to throw big punches. Technically he did the right thing. He negated some of my work early on. But towards the later rounds, I was hitting him with a lot of shots,” Eubank Jr. said,