By Elliot Foster
Callum Smith may not fight George Groves next after all.
The 28-year-old was set to face the WBA Super world super-middleweight champion in the World Boxing Super Series final.
But it was forced back from its original June 2 date after Groves, who outpointed Chris Eubank Jr. in his semi-final at Manchester Arena in February, suffered a dislocated shoulder and had to undergo surgery.
Smith went to Germany a week after Groves beat Eubank Jr. and himself outpointed late stand-in opponent Nieky Holzken, who was undefeated in 13 fights going in to the ring, in Nuremberg.
And although Groves issued a positive injury update last month, insisting that he would be fit to fight in July, it is understood that World Boxing Super Series officials, namely Comosa AG chief boxing officer Kalle Sauerland, are considering alternatives.
“You will find out about the finals in the next 10 days, but there is a possibility that we will have to bring in a replacement,” Sauerland told Boxing Scene.
“We're working at the moment on all the solutions and scenarios, where George [Groves] is fit and where he isn't.
“We’re hopeful [Groves will be fit], so we’ll see. You can’t start the tournament and then have the final lingering into the next tournament. I’m sorry, that’s not going to happen.”
There have been rumours swirling around of late that the aforementioned Eubank Jr. could replace Groves, should he be ruled out of the showpiece for the first season's super-middleweight tournament.
And Sauerland conceded to Boxing News that there is a very real possibility that the former IBO champion at the weight could come in for the Hammersmith man and fight 'Mundo', the current WBC Diamond champion.
"Would I want to watch Callum Smith-Eubank Jr outside of the tournament? Absolutely. It’s a great fight. So having him in as a lucky loser would make sense,” he said.
“We can push a month, but we can’t push it back by three or four months. We have a substitute system. We said that from day one, and that’s the situation. We’re still hoping it’s George Groves, of course we are.
“We want Groves in the final, but if that’s not possible and he doesn't declare himself fit in the next 10 days, we have to find a solution.”