By Keith Idec
Neither George Groves nor Callum Smith hesitated when asked Wednesday if they think their fight will end in a knockout Friday night.
Groves, the defending WBA super middleweight champion, and Smith both believe their World Boxing Super Series 168-pound tournament final will end in a knockout. Groves and Smith are set to fight at King Abdullah Sports City’s Grand Arena in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
“We’re two big punchers,” Smith said during a press conference in Jeddah. “It always make for an exciting fight and I think the fight will end inside the distance.”
The 28-year-old Smith (24-0, 17 KOs) will fight for a world title for the first time when he squares off against Groves (28-3, 20 KOs). The 30-year-old Groves, who’s 3-3 in world title fights, has lost by technical knockout twice, both times against former super middleweight champ Carl Froch.
“It’s a massive opportunity,” Smith said. “I think every fighter starts boxing and dreams of becoming a world champion and fighting for one, and I was no different. I turned professional and I believed me abilities were good enough to take me to the very top and Friday night I get a chance to be there. A win over George puts me as the best super middleweight in the world and a world champion and Ring magazine champion.
“In this fight, there’s a lot at stake, but that’s why I turned professional, for fights like these. And I’m excited, I’m in a good place and I feel good, I feel strong and ready to do what I come here to do, and that’s leave here a world champion.”
London’s Groves and Liverpool’s Smith tentatively were scheduled to meet June 2 at O2 Arena in London, but Groves’ shoulder injury forced a postponement. Investors in Jeddah offered enough money to the World Boxing Super Series’ organizers to bring this British battle to Saudi Arabia.
The Groves-Smith match will be streamed live by DAZN in the United States on Friday afternoon. Coverage is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.