By Keith Idec
George Groves and Chris Eubank Jr. went face-to-face one last time Friday before their high-stakes showdown.
Groves and Eubank stared long and hard at one another during the face-off following their weigh-in at a hotel at Manchester, England. The British super middleweights had to be separated by promoter Kalle Sauerland before they headed in different directions.
London’s Groves weighed in at 167.1 pounds for their 12-round fight Saturday night at sold-out Manchester Arena. Brighton’s Eubank got on the British Boxing Board of Control’s scale at 167.5 pounds.
The 28-year-old Eubank (26-1, 20 KOs), who owns the IBO super middleweight title, is listed by most Internet sports books as nearly a 2-1 favorite over Groves. The 29-year-old Groves (27-3, 20 KOs) will defend his WBA super middleweight title in the semifinals of the World Boxing Super Series’ 168-pound tournament.
Groves advanced to the semifinals by knocking out England’s Jamie Cox (24-1, 13 KOs) in the quarterfinals October 14 in London. Eubank beat Turkey’s Avni Yildirim (17-1, 11 KOs) by third-round knockout in the quarterfinals October 7 in Stuttgart, Germany.
The Groves-Eubank winner will advance the WBSS super middleweight final, scheduled for June 2 at O2 Arena in London. Whoever emerges from the Groves-Eubank bout will face the winner between the second semifinal between Juergen Braehmer and Callum Smith.
Germany’s Braehmer (49-3, 25 KOs) and England’s Smith (23-0, 17 KOs) are set to fight February 24 in Nuremberg, Germany.
Groves-Eubank will be streamed live on the World Boxing Super Series’ Facebook and YouTube pages Saturday.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.