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Groves says Eubank Jr. has “no chance,” he can’t compete

Chris Eubank Jr George Groves

By Marcus Richardson: George Groves (27-3, 20 KOs) views Chris Eubank Jr. (26-1, 20 KOs) as having no chance at all of winning in their fight in 11 days from now in the semifinals of the World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) super middleweight tournament on February 17 at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England.

Groves is coming off of a 4th round knockout win over Jamie Cox in his quarterfinals fight in the WBSS tournament on October 14th at the Wembley Arena in London, UK. Groves and Cox went to war in that fight. Groves ended the fight suddenly in round 4 after nailing Cox with a vicious right hand to the body that put him down for the count.

Groves, 29, says Eubank Jr. is too small, and he won’t be able to compete because of the many holes in his game that he plans on exploiting. Groves notes that Eubank Jr’s last opponent Avni Yildirim was unable to prevent Eubank Jr. from hitting him with repeated uppercuts, even though he knew well head of time that he likes to throw those type of punches. Groves chocks it up to Yildirim being a limited fighter that couldn’t learn how to take away a simple tactic from Eubank Jr. Groves doesn’t see himself falling victim to Eubank Jr. using the same uppercuts against him on February 17th if tries to fall back to using that punch.

”There is absolutely nothing for me to worry about, because there’s gaping, gaping holes in that style, and that approach that I personally am and will take advantage of,” Groves said of Eubank Jr. in WBSS Pre fight video. “He’s got no chance. He won’t be able to compete, and I’m not going to fall for your gimmicks,” Groves said.

In analyzing Eubank Jr’s fight with Yildirim last October in the World Boxing Super series quarterfinals in Stuttgart, Germany, Groves saw how he leaves himself open to shows when he unloads on throwing sustained combinations. Groves feels he can take advantage of this if Eubank Jr. forgets his defense and tries to beat him with volume punching like he did against the 25-year-old Yildirim. Eubank Jr. stopped Yildirim in the 3rd round in a fight that was a bad match-up. Yildirim came into the fight with Eubank Jr. with little experience against good fighters. The best fighter that Yildirim had fought up to that point was Marco Antonio Periban, who had been beaten in the past by James DeGale, J’Leon Love and Sakio Bika.

“He’s small, he’s trim and he’s narrow,” Groves said of Eubank Jr. “He’s not going to bulk up. I wanted to have a look at him. I was as light as I was ever going to be. I just boxed. I was so much bigger than Junior, and fresh faced as well. I thought he looked quite nervous,” Groves said.

Eubank Jr. is only fighting for the 4th time at super middleweight since moving up to 168 in February of 2017 to go after the IBO title against Renold Quinlan. Eubank Jr. had little problems beating Quinlan, who wasn’t very talented. Eubank has since beaten Arthur Abraham and Yildirim. Both of those fighters are slow guys without a lot of talent. Abraham spent the first 6 year of his boxing career in the 160 lb. weight class where he held the IBF middleweight title from 2005 to 2009. Abraham moved up to 168 in 2009 in taking part in Showtime’s Super Six tournament. Despite Abraham eventually winning the WBO super middleweight title against Robert Stieglitz, he never was a good fit for the division. So for Eubank Jr. to beat Abraham, it’s not a great win for him. Eubank Jr. has yet to beat a big super middleweight with power and talent in the division. Groves is going to be a quantum leap up in the talent and size department from the guys that Eubank Jr. has faced up to this point since moving to the weight class.

”He’s not a big super middleweight,” Groves’ trainer Shane McGuigan said about Eubank Jr. “He’s carrying speed up from middleweight to super middleweight. He’s fought slow fighters since he’s moved up o super middleweight, guys that are short. So it’ll be interesting to see how he deals with someone that has got the speed and size. In the clinches, he’s not going to be able to throw his weight around. You were a lot bigger than hi when you stood side by side after the [Jamie] Cox fight. He was considerably smaller than you. He is effectively a middleweight,” McGuigan said of Eubank Jr.

The 5’11” Eubank Jr. is just one-half inch shorter than the 5’11 ½” Groves, and they both have the same reach. The difference between them is the weight and the power department. Groves looks like he’s at least 15 pounds heavier when he fights. The weight and power for Groves is what sets him apart from Eubank Jr. What this means is that if Eubank Jr. tries to throw sustained combinations like he normally does in his fights, he could get clipped with a big shot while he’s in between punches. Groves is the wrong type of fighter for Eubank Jr. to try and flurry on like he did against Yildirim and Nick Blackwell. Eubank Jr. is going to have to fight a lot differently against Groves on February 17th if he doesn’t want to run into a big shot and get knocked out cold.

“I don’t think he’s ever going to get that heavy between fights,” McGuigan said of Eubank Jr.

Eubank Jr. is likely going to wind up moving back down to 160 once he starts taking losses against big super middleweights. Right now, Eubank Jr. has been doing well because he’s been facing the weaker super middleweights in Abraham, Yildirim and Quinlan. Once Eubank Jr. faces Groves and possibly loses to him, he’ll either use that as a hint that he needs to move back down to middleweight or he’ll stubbornly stick it out at 168 and stay in the division long enough to where he gets beaten again against someone like Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez or Callum Smith. At that point, Eubank Jr. will probably move back down to 160 to try and resurrect his career in that weight class. Eubank Jr. probably should have never left the middleweight division in the first place, but some boxing fans think he did it to avoid having to IBF/IBO/WBA/WBC middleweight champion Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin, who he had a chance to fight, but he chose not to take the fight.

“Look at him. He’s blissfully happy, as if he didn’t really expect that or he didn’t really know if he was going to win,” Eubank Jr. said in analyzing Groves’ win over Jamie Cox in his quarterfinals win in the World Boxing Super Series. ”He’s just so relieved. I wasn’t relieved [after beating Yildirim]. I was ready for the next fight. I’m sure he will try and use that against me, and I think I’ll be prepared for it,” Eubank Jr. said of Groves throwing body punches like the one he stopped Cox with.

You can understand why Groves was happy to knockout Jamie Cox (24-1, 13 KOs). That was not an easy fight for Groves in the early going. He took some big shots from Cox, who can punch. Groves certainly didn’t want to have to go the full 12 rounds with the 31-year-old Cox, who came into the fight undefeated as a 10-year pro. Cox was a tougher opponent than Yildirim. Cox had more speed, so it was going to be one of those fights where the winner was going to be the guy that landed the best shot. Groves happened to be the fighter that landed the knockout blow.

”He won’t go 12 rounds,” Eubank Jr. said of the Groves fight. ”Somebody is getting knocked out, and this chin doesn’t have an off button. His does,” Eubank Jr.

Eubank Jr. is right about the Groves fight not going the full 12 rounds. Both guys are knockout punchers. Eubank Jr. isn’t a 1-punch type of knockout fighter. He’s someone that throws a lot of shots and takes his opponents out with volume punches. Groves has always been a knockout puncher, but he seems to be even more of a KO threat as he’s gotten a little older. Groves’ new emphasis on body punching makes him even more dangerous. Eubank Jr. says if he were to have been knocked down like Cox was, he would have gotten back up and made it out of the round by using movement if he had to. We’ll see if that’s the case on February 17th. If Groves knocks Eubank Jr. down with a body shot, it should be interesting to see if he gets back up and is able to continue to fight.

”If he manages to beat me, he’s the next coming, but if he fails, he’s going to have the biggest fall from grace this country has seen for a long time. The pressure is on him really,” Groves said in talking about Eubank Jr.

You can’t call Eubank Jr. the next coming if he beats Groves. We’ve already seen Groves stopped by Carl Froch twice and beaten by Badou Jack. Groves was arguably beaten by James DeGale in their fight 7 years ago in May 2011. That was a fight that could have gone DeGale’s way. If Eubank Jr. beats Groves, it would likely be due to him taking advantage of his vulnerable punch resistance. To be the guy at 168, Eubank Jr. will need to beat the winner of the Juergen Braehmer vs. Callum Smith fight, and then defeat WBO super middleweight champion Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez., WBC champion David Benavidez, Caleb Truax, DeGale and Tyron Zeuge. It’s unrealistic for all of those fights to happen, so it’ll never be possible for Eubank Jr. to become the No.1 fighter by beating all of the other top guys at super middleweight. It will take too much time and too much effort to try and make all of those fights happen. There’s always another contender that will emerge as a threat to Eubank Jr. You have Jesse Hart as well who is a tough fighter that Eubank Jr. would need to beat as well to prove that he’s the next coming.

”I don’t have any hate for the guy,” Eubank Jr. said of Groves. ”He’s just the guy with a belt that I need to beat to get to win the tournament. Like I said, I keep my emotions out of boxing. It’s not personal. It’s just punishment,” Eubank Jr.

Eubank Jr. needs to not get too excited when he starts throwing punches. He says he keeps his emotions in check, but for him to be throwing so many combinations, it suggests that he’s letting his emotions get out of control. He can’t do that against Groves without putting himself in danger of getting hit by one of his big right hands or left hands to the body and winding up getting knocked out.

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