Groves vs. Eubank Jr. preview & prediction
By Scott Gilfoid: Tony Bellew is picking George Groves (27-3, 20 KOs) over Chris Eubank Jr. (26-1, 20 KOs) in their fight tonight at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, UK. Bellew says a good big man beats a good little man.
Groves will be coming into tonight’s contest with a considerable size advantage in the weight department over Eubank Jr., and Bellew sees that as being a fight in which wins out. I’m agreement with Bellew, and I view the end coming quickly for Eubank Jr. with him getting knocked out by a shot to the solar plexuses by Groves.
We’ve seen Groves’ last 2 opponents knocked out with body shots, and he seems to have discovered for the first time that he can hurt his opponents when he goes to the body. Groves is like a big kid in a toy store at discovering that he can hurt his opponents EVERY time he goes to the body. Just think. If Groves had been going to the body earlier in his career, he probably would have beaten Carl Froch and Badou Jack. Instead of Groves’ record being 27-3, he’d have a perfect 30-0, and he’d be the Gennady Golovkin of the super middleweight division. It doesn’t matter that Groves has found out that he’s a great body puncher fairly late in his career. The important thing is that he now knows that he’s the best puncher in the 168 lb. division by far, and he’s going to be using his ability tonight against Eubank Jr. Gents, this fight could end VERY quickly if Eubank Jr. makes the mistake of trying to bum rush Groves the way he’s been doing with his opposition during his entire career.
Eubank Jr. insists that he’ll win because he’s willing to endure any amount of pain to get the job done. Groves, 29, has already questioned Eubank Jr’s wiliness to go out on his shield if he has to try and get the win. Groves thinks that when the going gets tough, Eubank Jr. will opt to survive to fight another day rather than risk everything by putting it on the line. In other words, Eubank Jr. will flee the battle field when things get tough inside the ring. His father Chris Eubank Sr. could always pull him out of the fight if things start looking bleak for him.
”I don’t really believe the hype about Chris Eubank Jr. He’s good on the inside, has very fast hands in there, but those little clips and montages show us that he is really just a fighter that stands there,” Bellew said to Sky Sports News.
So there it is. The knowledgably former WBC cruiserweight belt holder Bellew has spoken, and he says he sees Eubank Jr. as a hype job. I hate to say it but I agree with him. Eubank Jr. is just a simple volume puncher who mainly throws repeated uppercuts. Eubank Jr’s assortment of punches is woefully limited. He tends to fall in love with his uppercuts in his fights. If Eubank Jr’s limited opponents are incapable of getting out of the way of his uppercuts, which is usually case, he just keeps hitting them with the same punch for the entire fight. Due to the mediocre opposition Eubank Jr. has fought, he’s gotten away with going uppercut crazy in his fights. It’s easy to do when you’re fighting the likes of Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan, Tom Doran, Avni Yildirim, Nick Blackwell, Tony Jeter, Renold Quinlan, Arthur Abraham and Dmitry Chudinov.
The only fighter on Eubank’s resume that had talent is Billy Joe Saunders, and he beat him soundly in their fight in November 2014. Saunders disarmed Eubank Jr. by his head to keep him from landing his uppercuts. Once that was taken away from Eubank, he had no other weapons to rely on. It was child’s play for Saunders to calmly pick Eubank Jr. apart for 12 rounds. The only reason the fight was close in the end was because Saunders faded in the last half of the fight due to his poor conditioning. Groves hits a lot harder than Saunders. The shots that Saunders was hitting Eubank Jr. with will turn into knockout blows with Groves landing them. That’s the way I see it. Once Groves starts putting hands on Eubank Jr. tonight, the fight will be quickly over just like in Saint’s George’s last contest against Jamie Cox. That fight ended quickly in round 4 after Groves hit Cox with a hard right hand to the body that had him down in pain on the canvas.
”George Groves is by far the better boxer of the two,” Bellew said. ”He has the height and reach advantage, he has the power…He will box him, keeping on the end of the jab, and then impose his size and stature on him. A good big man always beats a good little man.”
Obviously the way to beat Eubank Jr. is to follow the same blueprint Saunders created 4 years ago by boxing him from the outside. Groves can’t let Eubank Jr. crowd him and use his fast hands and combination punching to get the better of him. That’s not to say that Groves can’t get the better of Eubank Jr. if he decides to bum rush him and unload on his with an avalanche of punches like he did against his last fodder opponent Avni Yildirim. Groves has become a body puncher in the Rocky Marciano mold, and it only takes 1 big shot from him to the bread basket of his opponents to put them down for the 10 count. Eubank Jr. has a thin waist, which will make it doubly hard for him to take Groves’ body shots if he gets hit with one full force. Since Eubank Jr. likes to throw shots without abandon, he’s going to be getting hit with Groves’ body punches when he’s least prepared to take the punches. That’s bad news for Eubank Jr. If he’s not ready to take the shots, he’s going to get dropped and hurt. Eubank Jr. says he’ll get back to his feet and continue fighting, but I’m not so sure he’ll be able to do so.
Eubank Jr’s 8-fight winning streak will come to an end tonight with him getting knocked flat by a brutal body shot from Groves. As much as I like the nice little run that Eubank Jr. has put together since losing to Billy Joe Saunders in 2014, I think he’s coming up against the wrong guy in Groves for him to continue his winning streak. All good things must come to an end, as they say. For Eubank Jr., I see his winning streak being halted in a devastating fashion tonight with him getting laid out nice on the canvas courtesy of a tremendous body shot from Groves. Believe me; there will be no getting up from this knockdown by Groves. Eubank Jr. said this week that if he gets knocked down from a punch to the body by Groves, he’ll get up and tough it out. I don’t think that’s going to be physically possible for Eubank Jr. to do. Once he gets laid out pretty on the canvas from a body shot from Groves, he’ll be in too much pain for him to get back to his feet, and the referee Michael Alexander will have no choice but to stop the fight and render assistance to Eubank Jr. There are certain punches in which a fighter can get back up from, but it’s a different story when you get hit in the bread basket with a hard enough shot. You don’t get back to your feet after you get hit with those kinds of shots.