By Dave Twenytman
We can finally look forward to what will be a mega fight between George Groves and Chris Eubank Junior.
Junior has looked fantastic since his defeat to the very skilled, Billy Joe Saunders. There is no doubt that his team learnt from that defeat. The main lesson being to avoid match-ups with boxers who have great feet and can throw fast counters. Since that fight, Junior has feasted on fighters who have either tried to go toe to toe with him or who have marched forward with a high-guard, inviting Junior to plant his feet and unload his eye- catching shots, particularly his uppercuts.
Despite his tailor made opponents, Junior has grown has a fighter. The sheer volume of shots he throws and the variety in which he delivers them, overwhelms his opponents and is incredibly entertaining viewing. He has a great engine and paces himself by stealthily taking breathers with his nonchalant walk around the ring, reminiscent of the father.
Eubank will feel very confident in his belief that he can beat George Groves. However, Groves presents Eubank with problems he’s not faced since his defeat to Saunders. Groves has great feet, an impeccable jab and a powerful backhand to back it up. His performance against Cox demonstrated his increasing maturity and self discipline in not letting himself get drawn into a slug fest. He was happy to allow Cox let his hands go, making him miss whilst landing measured, counter shots of his own. His inside work was exemplary and demonstrated that Groves can win in a different way when his back is against the wall. It is this kind of fight that Groves should expect once again. Eubank will know that he will not be able to compete with Groves from the outside with the jab. Therefore, it is expected that he will try to move on the inside and outwork Groves with sheer punch volume, and catch the eye of the judges.
This is were I feel that Groves’ size and strength will be an advantage, which he demonstrated in round three of his fight with Cox. Spinning him around with ease and pushing the blown-up middleweight to the floor on another occasion.
This promises to be a mouthwatering clash, which could signify Chris Eubank Junior’s arrival on the world stage in the super middleweight division, even if he is not victorious. He is a major talent and a great ambassador for boxing with the way he carries himself inside and outside the ring.
It’s a cliche’ but boxing is about levels. This is a major step up for Eubank against a fighter who for me, carries too many advantages in terms of boxing skill, experience and size. Eubanks granite chin will see him to the end of round 12 with his credibility in-check. He will become a legitimate world champion, quite possibly in the 160 and 168 division…but he won’t be taking the belt from Groves on this occasion, who will march into the final to await Callum Smith.by