By Marcus Richardson: The injured George Groves is hoping his shoulder problem won’t keep him from taking part in the June 2nd finals of the World Boxing Super Series following his 12 round unanimous decision win over Chris Eubank Jr. last Saturday night. Groves (28-3, 20 KOs) dislocated his left shoulder in the 12th round against Eubank Jr., and he then bravely endured the pain for the final 2 minutes of action.
(Photo credit: World Boxing Super Series)
Eubank Jr. was unaware of Groves’ shoulder injury, and he thought he had hurt him with one his punches. Groves survived the round and won the fight by the scores 117-112, 116-112 and 115-113. The boxing world was somewhat taken aback by the close scores for the fight. Groves had seemingly won 10 of 12 rounds. One judge, Marcus McDonnell, scoring the fight 7 rounds to 5 in Groves’ favor seemed to be much too close of a margin.
“Hopefully, it isn’t going be a big problem. It will only be a problem if you damaged a bone from my understanding, but the X-ray last night didn’t show any of that,” Groves said to IFL TV. “It is impossible to know at the moment.”
If Groves is unable to fight in the finals of the World Boxing Super Series tournament, he could be replaced by Eubank Jr. His name is being mentioned as a possible option to replace Groves in the finals. However, Eubank Jr. suffered a deep cut on the right side of his eye in the 2nd round of the fight last Saturday. The injury likely will not have healed by the time the WBSS finals takes place. Even if Eubank Jr’s cut is healed, it’ll look bad to have him taking part in the finals after the way he was beaten so easily by Groves.
Groves’ dislocated shoulder injury could possibly lead to him being replaced in the World Boxing Super Series tournament finals by an alternate. Groves’ trainer Shane McGuigan is hoping he’ll be able to heal fast enough to return for the finals, but he’s not sure.
“It’s a massive concern for the tournament. George Groves’ health is paramount,” McGuigan said to skysports.com. “He said it felt like that [a dislocated shoulder].”
The plan is to have Grove’ shoulder checked out to see if there’s damage that requires surgery or a prolonged period of inactivity for to heal. If he chooses to compete in the World Boxing Super Series finals, Groves wouldn’t have much time to heal before he needs to get back into the gym to start training to face the winner of the February 24th semifinals match between Callum Smith (23-0, 17 KOs) and Juergen Braehmer (49-3, 35 KOs). If Groves isn’t 100 percent for the WBSS finals, he’ll struggle against the Smith-Braehmer winner and he might end up getting beaten.
Promoter Kalle Sauerland is taking a wait and see approach with Groves’ health status.
“No one knows if there’s any damage until the scans have been analyzed by experts,” Sauerland said to skysports.com. “We’re hopeful. With those sort of injuries, it can be that he can train very, very quickly again if it’s just a case of it popping out.”
The status of Groves’ shoulder injury won’t be found out until next week. At that point the World Boxing Super Series tournament organizers may need to replace Groves with the alternate if he’s unable to take part in the finals. That would be a bad turn of events for Groves, because a victory in the WBSS tournament would increase his star power in the UK in the same way that Carl Froch became hugely popular after taking part in the Super Six tournament back in 2011. Froch lost to Andre Ward in the finals of the Super Six tournament, but he still became a big star in the UK with his performances.