By Elliot Foster
Kalle Sauerland has poured water over the idea of rearranging the World Boxing Super Series super-middleweight tournament final.
The Comosa AG chief boxing officer was ringside on Saturday to see George Groves add the lightly-regarded IBO trinket to his Super WBA world title at Manchester Arena with a unanimous points victory over Chris Eubank Jr.
Sauerland, the face of the Super Series, has booked the O2 Arena in London on June 2 for the final of the Ali Trophy tournament in the 168-pound division.
And Groves will face the winner of Callum Smith’s WBC Diamond super-middleweight world title defence against Juergen Braehmer, which takes place on February 24 at the Arena Nurnberger Versicherung in Nuremberg, Germany, in the showpiece in the summer.
But after Groves beat Eubank Jr. on points by margins of 117-112, 116-112 and 115-113, he was taken to hospital with a suspected dislocated shoulder which he suffered in the final of 12 enthralling rounds in the North West.
The severity of the injury suffered by ‘The Saint’ led to suggestions that Sauerland and co. should move the final to allow the tournament’s number one seed sufficient recovery time.
“We’ll wait for the assessment from George’s doctor [before making a decision about the final],” Sauerland said in the aftermath of the fight. “We’re very hopeful that it’s just a dislocation [of the shoulder] and not a tear of something.
“Given that it apparently popped back in, that sounds like a good sign, but we’ll only know on Monday or Tuesday at the earliest and then we will know whether we need a replacement.”
Should Groves be unable to compete in the final, a replacement would be drafted in to face the Smith vs. Braehmer winner.
“If next week’s semi-final is a war or a controversial decision, you may look at making that as a rematch [in the final],” Sauerland added. “You simply don’t know these things.
“There are other guys out there that are very capable of stepping up, but I would always look to find a story line that is attached to the tournament.”
Defeated semi-finalist Eubank Jr. said after his loss to Groves that he hopes he is at the top of the list of replacements, should one be needed.
However, Groves is adamant that he will be fit to face Smith or Braehmer –– and even tipped the Brit to beat the German former world champion well and set up an all-UK showdown in the final.
“It is vitally important to me in my boxing career to go on and achieve what is now the dream of winning the World Boxing Super Series,” he said.
“I've worked so hard. I've had two big fights to get into the final. I need to go and see the specialist to find out what the recovery time is.
“That said, June 2 might still work. We haven't had that information yet. But I back Callum to beat Braehmer well because I want to fight him in the final.
“The shoulder feels great after being put back in place. I'm confident that I will be challenging for the Muhammad Ali trophy. This is going to be my trophy –– I want it.”