This weekend’s Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) event may be on Sunday for God knows what reason, but that doesn’t mean today is devoid of combat sports action. Just moments ago, George Groves defeated domestic rival Chris Eubank Jr. to earn a spot in the World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) super middleweight finals. He will now face either young gun Callum Smith or veteran Juergen Braehmer, who will duke it out in Nuremberg next Saturday, in the finals later this year.
Groves (28-3, 20 KO) was just flat-out sharper than Eubank (26-2, 20 KO), controlling his faster foe with jabs and counters while the latter barreled in with haymakers. As the fight progressed, Eubank — who suffered a cut after an overeager entrance caused a clash of heads — grew increasingly desperate, hurling punches with reckless abandon and chiseling away with point-blank shots in the clinch. It wasn’t enough, though, and despite Groves suffering a shoulder injury in the last round, “St. George” walked away with a unanimous decision.
Eubank has always been a bit overreliant on his athleticism, but he’s still young enough to develop into something really special, and this fight should ideally give him the motivation to do so. Groves, meanwhile, has truly moved on from the specter of Carl Froch and has an argument for being among the top three super middleweights on the planet.
The WBSS has been a surprising success overall — boxing tournaments have a history of crashing and burning, but this one has produced multiple terrific fights. Here’s hoping the final three fights keep the momentum up.