Sauerland says Groves could be replaced in WBSS tournament if out for months
By Tim Royner: Sauerland says Groves could be replaced in WBSS tournament if out for months
Promoter Kalle Sauerland says George Groves could potentially be replaced in the World Boxing Super Series tournament finals on June 2 if his left shoulder injury requires for him to be out for months.
(Photo credit: World Boxing Super Series)
Sauerland says Groves (28-3, 20 KOs) could be replaced by another 168 lb. champion or one of the fighters in the WBSS tournament that has already been beaten.
Groves, 29, would like the WBSS tournament to be delayed if his shoulder injury requires more time to heal. Groves feels the tournament won’t be the same without him being in the finals. Groves is perhaps right about that, but the tournament will continue without him all the same. Sauerland says it’s not possible for the WBSS tournament finals to be delayed for months while Groves’ shoulder heals.
The options are very limited as far as beaten fighters. Some of them like Chris Eubank Jr. were beaten so soundly in his recent loss to Groves last Saturday that it would be a real disappointment to many boxing fans to see him as the replacement. Moreover, it’s unclear whether Eubank Jr. would even agree to be a replacement for Groves.
Eubank Jr. could be moving back down to the 160 lb. weight class for his next fight. Eubank Jr. (26-2, 20 KOs) looked too small to compete on an even playing field with Groves in their fight last Saturday night at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, UK. Groves ended up winning a 12 round unanimous decision. The only drama in the fight was when Groves’ left shoulder came out of the socket in round 12 of the contest, forcing him to hold on to survive the round.
If Groves’ left should heal in time for him to compete in the World Boxing Super Series tournament finals on June 2, he’ll fight the winner of this Saturday’s semifinals match between Callum Smith and Juergen Braehmer.
“If it’s a case of a few weeks, then of course we would look at moving the final. That’s clear. But if it’s a question of months, there’s not a chance,” Sauerland said to the dailystar.co.uk. “We would look for a substitute and whether that comes out from someone who has lost in the tournament, or someone who is now available, another champion for example.”
The fighters that have already lost in the WBSS tournament are as follows:
• Chris Eubank Jr. – suffered a bad cut on the side of right eye in fight with Groves
• Erik Skoglund
• Rob Brant
None of those 3 fighters would be good options to replace Groves. Sauerland’s idea of having one of the super middleweight champions substitute for Groves would be the best idea. The other champions at 168 are these fighters:
• David Benavidez
• Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez
• Tyson Zeuge
• Caleb Truax
Benavidez, 21, might be the best option to take Groves’ place. He’s a big puncher, and he just finished fighting last Saturday night in beating Ronald Gavril in their rematch. Benavidez is a tall fighter with a lot of power like Callum Smith. Benavidez vs. Smith would an excellent fight. There wouldn’t be much drop off if Groves is replaced by Benavidez. It might even be an even more exciting fight with Benavidez in the World Boxing Super Series finals.