By Chris McKenna, courtesy of The Daily Star
GEORGE GROVES claims Chris Eubank Junior will be nervous after watching him wallop Jamie Cox.
Groves, 29, booked a money-spinning World Boxing Super Series semi-final against Eubank with a fourth-round knockout of Swindon slugger Cox on Saturday night.
Former sparring partner Eubank was ringside at Wembley Arena to witness Groves stop Cox with a stunning right uppercut to the body.
“I felt I boxed very well, he could quite possibly be a bit nervous about it,” explained Groves.
“It doesn’t matter as, at the end of the day, the very best Chris Eubank won’t beat me.
“What I like about Eubank is that he will punch from his ankles from the get go but that’s because he doesn’t have the boxing brain.
“He is stepping up big time against me. He’s not good enough.”
Groves also revealed former two-weight world champion Eubank Snr has already pleaded with him not to beat his son when they met at the draw for the £20m tournament in Monte Carlo in July.
“His dad has always had a lot of respect for me, he’s been quite kind to me,” said Groves.
“His dad spoke to me at the Monaco draw when he came out five minutes before we went to the draw.
“He had the bow tie on, the shoes, the Louis Vuitton case under his arm and he said, ‘Oh George, you better not beat my son’ and I thought, ‘He’s conforming already! He knows’.”
Groves’ clash with Cox was a tear-up for four rounds with the defending champion getting the better of the challenger as he landed right hands when his southpaw opponent overreached with jabs.
It was a sickening right to the body that left Cox in agony on the floor in the fourth but a lot of the 8,000 crowd inside Wembley Arena missed it as they were watching a nasty fight in the stands.
The brawl, involving around 40 people, threatened to spoil what was a fantastic atmosphere helped by the stunning Champions League like production this new tournament’s organisers have brought to the sport.
It is believed five venues are in the running – Manchester Arena, Wembley Arena, Fulham’s Craven Cottage, Brighton’s AMEX Stadium and Cardiff’s Principality Stadium – to host Groves’ clash with Eubank in January or February.
Groves would have no problem going outdoors early next year despite the risk of freezing weather conditions.
He said: “Cold is nice. You will be nice and warm in the changing room. As the rounds tick past, under those lights, you’ll appreciate it if it’s snowing outside.”
Groves could pocket up to £10m if he wins the tournament and claim the Muhammad Ali Trophy.
His career looked on the rocks when he lost his third world title attempt against former WBC champion Badou Jack after two losses to ex-WBA and IBF king Carl Froch but trainer Shane McGuigan has revitalised him.
“I’m still improving, there is a little bit of truth in writing me off, I lost my mojo, I wasn’t really performing that well, I was definitely flat in the Badou Jack fight,” Groves said.
“Now I’m flying. I’ve come through that and that has made me a better fighter. I genuinely felt unstoppable in this fight.”