By Tim Royner: Tyson Fury favors Chris Eubank Jr. (26-1, 20 KOs) to defeat George Groves tonight in their World Boxing Super Series semifinals contest in Manchester. Fury says Eubank Jr. will win on points, but he doesn’t know why he’s picking him.
The former heavyweight champion Fury just thinks Eubank Jr. will get the job done on Groves (27-3, 20 KOs). Fury isn’t alone with his pick. It seems that most of boxing fans are picking the 28-year-old Eubank Jr. win this fight tonight. It could be that it’s been quite a long time since they’ve seen Eubank Jr. get beaten, and they haven’t had the chance to see him face someone good enough to hand him bitter defeat the way that Groves has in his losses to Carl Froch and Badou Jack. Had Eubank Jr. faced those 2 fighters or if he’d agreed to fight Gennady Golovkin when he was given the chance to fight him in 2016, he might have knockout losses on his resume.
“I fancy Eubank on points to be honest,” Fury said. ”It’s not that I like him or hate him, but I just got to be honest. I fancy Eubank. I don’t know why but I just do,” Fury said.
Eubank Jr. will need to use a different approach to the fight tonight for him to win a decision. He’s been mostly looking to knock his opponents out in the last few years. He’s not had too many fights that have gone the distance. Only 1 fighter, Arthur Abraham, has gone the full 12 round distance against Eubank Jr. since his loss to Billy Joe Saunders in 2014.
Eubank Jr. has made it a point to try and knock his opponents out. He’ll need to change tactics tonight for him to win a decision. It could be difficult. Groves has the punching power to steal rounds with his hard shots. He’s like Saul Canelo Alvarez the way he was winning rounds against Gennady Golovkin last September. Golovkin landed more punches, but the judges favored the cleaner, harder landing shots from Canelo. If Groves does the same thing tonight, he could win even with him getting outworked by Eubank Jr.
”If Groves stays at distance, uses his skill, uses his ability and doesn’t tire as much, then I think he wins it on points, maybe even hurts him. He is heavy-handed,” super middleweight contender Callum Smith said to skysports.com. Probably I would lean towards Groves. If he does tire, I think Eubank takes over and it becomes an up-close fight, and then there is only one winner.”
Groves got tired against Carl Froch in their first fight in 2013, and he ended up getting stopped in the 9th. Grove also faded against Badou Jack in the last 6 rounds of the fight, and he lost that contest as well. But in Groves’ last 6 fights, he’s not shown stamina issues. Groves won all those fights, but it wasn’t against opposition like Eubank Jr. This is going to be a lot tougher fight for Groves. He’s going to be pushed to fight at a faster pace than he’s accustomed to fighting. There’s a chance Groves could gas out early in this fight and end up getting stopped.
Groves has such a good jab that he can dominate from the outside even if he gets tired. Eubank Jr. will need to walk into punching range for him to get Groves to gas out, and that’s dangerous to do.
The winner of the Groves vs. Eubank Jr. fight tonight will move on to face Callum Smith vs. Juergen Braehmer semifinals fight in the finals of the World Boxing Super Series tournament. The overall winner of the tourney will get a nice payday, and they’ll be in demand by fighters like Gennady Golovkin and Saul Canelo Alvarez. That’s where the real money comes in.