George Groves says Chris Eubank Jr was drained at 160, wants Liam Smith to fight GGG
By Charles Brun: Former super middleweight champion George Groves believes that Chris Eubank Jr was weight drained at 160, which played a part in his fourth round knockout loss to 154-pounder Liam ‘Beefy’ Smith last Saturday night in Manchester, England.
When Eubank Jr (32-3, 23 KOs) fought Groves in 2018 at super middleweight, he took his best shots without showing signs of being hurt in that fight.
Eubank Jr drained at the weight
Most boxing fans would agree that Groves was a far bigger puncher than Liam (33-3-1, 20 KOs). As such, Eubank Jr’s sudden deterioration in the chin department for the fight with Smith must be viewed as being caused by him being drained from making the 160-lb limit.
At 33, Eubank Jr can no longer dehydrate down from the 170s like he’s been doing since he moved down in weight from 168 to 160 in December 2019.
Eubank Jr probably would have returned to the 168-lb division already if he’d fought some decent punchers in the last three years, but he’s been matched pretty softly after weak cannon fodder-level guys that couldn’t crack an egg.
Liam isn’t a big puncher, but compared to the weaklings that Eubank Jr has been feasting on, he’s another Julian Jackson. With that said, Eubank Jr didn’t help himself by foolishly backing to the corner like a sparring partner, giving Smith a punching bag.
When fighting a short guy like Liam Smith, you don’t give away your height by going up against the ropes. That move by Eubank Jr added to his existing problems of being weight drained to the extreme.
“I’m speechless. I didn’t think Liam Smith would be able to stop Chris Eubank Jr in that sort of fashion,” said George Groves to Boxing Social.
“It just goes to show that it’s impossible sometimes to make a fight prediction because there’s always going to be stuff we’re unaware of, and I’m sure there’s stuff, and I’m not taking anyway from Liam Smith, but I’m sure he wasn’t convinced that he’d be able to obliterate Eubank Jr once he landed some significant punches on him and he did.
“It wasn’t one that Chris walked onto, and it wasn’t a punch from the Gods. It was just a right hand over the top and put his shots together.
“A left uppercut comes through that lands heavy, and while Eubank is on his way down, he gets caught with another one on the way down. The fight was pretty much over after the first knockdown.
“Does Liam Smith punch harder than me? He might do, or Eubank Jr has come down to middleweight, and his punch resistance is gone. I don’t know what Chris’ desire is right now. He’s had a real tough couple of years personally with stuff in his family.
“I think he’s tired at the weight that had an effect on his performance tonight, but full credit to Liam Smith. He rose to the occasion.
“He might do but I wouldn’t advise him not to right now,” said Groves when asked if Eubank Jr will use his rematch clause to face Liam Smith again. “Let the dust settle for a bit and then make a decision.
“It’s raw, you know, and let’s get it straight, he’s concussed right now, and he’s been stopped. He needs to go speak with whoever has his ear and who has experience in these situations and in boxing in general.
“I’m not sure what’s next for Chris Eubank Jr. I’m not in his camp. I don’t know how hard it is to make weight, but he’s definitely a stronger force up at 168. He looks a little flat. The Liam Williams fight, he couldn’t get rid of him.
“Tonight, it was the same. It wasn’t quite the same tenacious, animalistic sort of fighter he was a few years ago back at super middleweight.
“He could do, he really could do,” said Groves about Liam Smith potentially fighting Gennadiy Golovkin for his IBF & WBA middleweight titles.
“To be honest, I still think GGG has plenty left in the tank. I’m making him the favorite. He’s the more natural middleweight, but if they could get Golovkin over here to the UK, it would be a mega-fight. Everyone would love to see Golovkin over here.
“I think Golovkin is old now, but he’s still a spiteful puncher; but yeah, that could be a mega-fight to deliver for Liam Smith. He kind of deserves it after tonight. Tonight was a mega-night for him.
“If you win at this stage of his career, you get to roll the dice and go again, so I hope he gets another big fight. If it’s not Eubank, then I hope it is another big significant fight for him,” said Groves about Liam Smith.
- Eddie Hearn says Eubank Jr. would fold under Conor Benn’s punches
- Chris Eubank Jr. moved to #1 WBO at 160: Will he fight Janibek Alimkhanuly for title?
- Gennadiy Golovkin beats Chris Eubank Jr. predicts Carl Froch
- Chris Eubank Jr. pushing for Canelo Alvarez fight in UK, thinks it’s possible