By Terence Dooley
Although the official announcement is not expected until Thursday, various outlets reported on Monday in the UK, most notably The Sun and Mirror, that the all-British showdown between fellow Londoners George Groves (27-3, 20 KOs) and Chris Eubank Jr. (26-1, 20 early) will take place in Manchester on February 17, with the city’s Arena the venue for the highly-anticipated World Boxing Super Series super middleweight semi-final showdown.
Groves defended his WBA's super world 168lb title with a crushing fourth-round body shot KO of the previously undefeated Jamie Cox at the Wembley Arena last month to book his place in the last four.
IBO super middleweight world champion Eubank was similarly impressive en route to the semis, he destroyed unbeaten contender Avni Yildirim in three to ensure that both headed into the fight after taking an ‘0’ and with an impressive highlight reel KO.
Eubank’s father, a former two-weight WBO titlist at middleweight and super middleweight respectively, has already fanned the flames going into the fight by telling The Sun that there is no way that Groves will see the final bell.
“I can’t see how George Groves can go the [distance] with Junior, I don’t see how that’s possible," Eubank Sr. said.
“I would say this, as I have been saying ever since the Nick Blackwell fight, the referee has to protect the boxers today in the super-middleweight division,” he said, referring back to the March 2016 meeting that saw Eubank win the British middleweight title by beating Blackwell via a 10th-round TKO.
Blackwell ended up in the hospital due to a bleed on the brain and was forced to retire from boxing in the aftermath.
“The referee has to protect them because Junior is an upgraded version of his father.”
The winner of Groves-Eubank will face the winner of the fight between former British and European Champion Callum Smith (23-0, 17 early) and former WBA World light-heavyweight titlist Juergen Braehmer (49-3, 35 KOs) .
Sauerland Promotion, who devised and launched the WBSS earlier this year, have yet to confirm a date and venue for Smith-Braehmer, with Smith’s trainer Joe Gallagher insisting that the fight should take place in a neutral venue in the interests of fairness.
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