By Keith Idec
He’s not Jamie Cox.
That was among the messages Chris Eubank Jr. delivered to George Groves at a recent press conference. Groves knocked out Cox to reach the semifinals of the World Boxing Super Series’ super middleweight tournament, but Eubank promised Groves he is in for a far different fight when they met face-to-face during a press conference in Manchester, England.
The 28-year-old Eubank (26-1, 20 KOs), the IBO super middleweight champion, and the 29-year-old Groves (27-3, 20 KOs), the WBA world super middleweight champion, are set to square off in a high-profile, UK showdown February 17 at Manchester Arena.
“I read a statement the other day,” Eubank said. “George said that if he fights the same, or he boxes the same as he [boxed] against Jamie Cox in his last fight, then, you know, he’ll have no problem beating me. That statement started with an ‘if.’ That means that there is a possibility of him not being able to do that. There are no ifs and buts where I’m concerned. It doesn’t matter if my game plan goes completely out the window. I will find a way to stop George Groves. There’s just no chance in hell that he’s gonna take this away from me. I’m a man of my word, and George, you will not see the 12th round.”
Eubank’s third-round knockout of Turkey’s Avni Yildirim (16-1, 10 KOs) on October 7 in Stuttgart, Germany, occurred a week before Groves’ fourth-round knockout of England’s Cox (24-1, 13 KOs) in London.
Brighton’s Eubank has won eight straight fights since losing a split decision to WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders (25-0, 12 KOs) in November 2014 in London.
“I’ve had many big fights,” Eubank said.
“This is probably the biggest in terms of profile, you know, in terms of this tournament, the hype. But at the end of the day, I rise to the occasion always. The bigger the fight, the better I perform. And George seems to be focused or hung up on what I’m gonna do, and how I’m gonna conform and change and all these things. You know, he really needs to worry about himself because thinking about what I’m gonna do isn’t gonna get him anywhere. I’m gonna do exactly what I’ve been doing my entire career, which is following my intuition, finding a way to overcome any and all obstacles.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.