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Groves having shoulder surgery, wants Smith fight delayed until July

George Groves

By Marcus Richardson: George Groves (28-3, 20 KOs) will be having shoulder surgery on Monday to repair his injured left shoulder, and he says he’ll be asking the World Boxing Super Series organizers to delay his finals fight against Callum Smith 1 month until July.

(Photo credit: World Boxing Super Series)

Groves, 29, is scheduled to face Smith (24-0, 17 KOs) on June 2 in the WBSS finals at the O2 Arena in London, England. Whether the WBSS will give Groves an extra month to rehab his left shoulder is unclear.

Groves dislocated his left shoulder in the 12th round of his WBSS semifinals match against Chris Eubank Jr. on February 17th. Groves fought the last 2 minutes of the 12th round with his left shoulder dislocated. Groves did the best he could to tie Eubank Jr. up with one good arm. Groves landed some big right hands while being flurried on by a desperate Eubank Jr. It was quite a performance from Groves in beating Eubank Jr. soundly by a one-sided 12 round unanimous decision. There were many doubters that predicted a knockout defeat for Groves going into the fight, and he proved them wrong. They had underestimated Groves’ talent.

If the World Boxing Super Series officials deny Groves’ 1-month extension, then they’ll need to look for a substitute to match against Callum Smith in the finals on June 2. It’s good news for the WBSS that Groves has already informed them that he’ll need until July for him to be ready to meet Smith, as they can now make a decision whether to replace him with another fighter or not.

There’s plenty of time for the WBSS to find a suitable opponent for Smith to face. If the WBSS does choose to deny Groves’ 1-month extension, hopefully they can find a better opponent than the one Smith fought last Saturday night in Nieky Holzken. It’s going to require a higher level fighter to give Smith a proper fight on June 2 than Holzken. Promoter Kalle Sauerland mentioned wanting to get one of the champions if possible. Even Eubank Jr’s name was mentioned as a possibility. That would likely be a disaster for the WBSS tournament if he was pulled in to replace Groves.

Groves was in attendance last Saturday for the Callum Smith vs. Nieky Holzken fight in Nuremberg, Germany. Still sporting a black eye from his fight with Eubank Jr. on February 17th, Groves looked supremely confident in watching Smith labor to beat Holzken. Smith did not shine in victory. He looked pedestrian in beating a fighter with limited boxing experience. Holzken was able to trouble Smith just by being a better athlete than him.

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