Veteran trainer Joe Gallagher is really looking forward to the super middleweight showdown between WBA world champion George Groves (27-3, 20 KOs) and IBO champ Chris Eubank Jr. (26-1,20 KOs), which is set to take place at the Manchester Arena on February 17.
That contest is the first semi-final bout in the World Boxing Super Series super middleweight tournament.
The second semi-final bout, will see Gallagher's fighter, Callum Smith, trade punches with former world champion Juergen Braehmer.
To get to the semi-finals, 28-year-old Eubank Jr. went to Stuttgart in Germany on October 7 and produced a clinical display at the Hanns-Martin-Schleyer-Halle to stop Turkish Avni Yildirim inside three rounds.
And 29-year-old Groves earned his place when he excited in London on October 14, as he defeated fellow British fighter Jamie Cox at the SSE Arena with a crumpling fourth-round right-hook body shot.
Now one of the most anticipated fights in the first half of the year is set.
“It’s a very good fight. It’s happened for both of them at the right time. I don’t think it’s a case of Eubank’s on a roll and Groves is coming off a sloppy performance and I don’t think it’s the other way round. I think George Groves has come back and he’s won the world title. He’s defended it well. Two wins, two knockouts and two exciting fights," Gallagher told Boxing News.
"Chris Eubank has moved up a weight division, beat Arthur Abraham and then he’s gone over and fought abroad and knocked out a good super-middleweight. Both are coming in on fire, both on point and it’s a fascinating fight. I think George Groves carries the heavier punch. I think he’s been in the big fights a lot more. Chris Eubank, I think he’s fearless. He’s not been around the big shows or the big time yet. There’s no fear there or hesitancy there,” he said.
While Gallagher views the contest as a very close fight, at least on paper, he's siding with Groves to come away with the win - but he will not be surprised in the least if the victory goes the other way.
He believes Groves can strengthen his chances of winning by using movement.
“If [Shane McGuigan] can get George’s legs moving, like he did with James DeGale, then I think Chris Eubank, he isn’t going to be able to deal with that movement," Gallagher said.
“Groves has got belief again in his power and the relationship with Shane is developing all the time. If George can show up like he did with the first Froch fight or DeGale he’s in with a great chance. I'll say Groves [will win], only because of the experience and the punching power. But I wouldn’t rule Eubank out.”