February 18, 2018
February 18, 2018
george groves beats chris eubank

Action Images/Andrew Couldridge

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GEORGE GROVES told us all along.

Perhaps everyone should have believed him from the start. Perhaps everyone should have given George Groves more respect, considering the mountains he’d climbed and what he went through while doing so. But no doubt tonight, inside the Manchester Arena, George Groves turned in a tremendous showing which made those who didn’t believe him feel a little bit silly. He won’t be doubted again in a hurry.

It was supposed to be a two-way war. It was supposed to be too hard to call. After 12 rounds, only one judge saw it that way, the 115-113 that Marcus McDonnell scored was way too close. The other two tallies of 117-112 and 116-112 were more in keeping with reality but still didn’t tell the story of almost total dominance from the pre-fight underdog.

Boxing News predicted a points win for Eubank Jr. So too did Boxing Monthly. So too did many educated opinions.

We were all wrong, and it looked that way before the fight had even started.

Groves’ ringwalk, laced with Eubank mimicry and an obvious desire to behead his rival, set the tone. The excitement, whether watching at home or up close was, as they say, off the hook. But the contest, firstly due to Groves’ exemplary research, preparation and superior skills, and secondly down to Eubank Jr’s ragged and wild approach, was never in the balance once the opening bell was heard.

Eubank was bundled to the floor several times, and – as early as the first round – he almost hit the deck due to a searing left hand.

Considering Groves was supposedly the more fragile of the two, his strength under every Eubank onslaught must now, at last, put a stop to the myth that the Brightonian is an unstoppable machine. In 2014 he was outscored by Billy Joe Saunders, yet his fightback at the end of that encounter papered over some now obvious cracks in his armoury.

To move forward, he must address his approach and his desire to appear a one-man show. At times, as his windmill arms missed the target so flagrantly, he looked like a novice.

His fitness and desire to win should not be doubted, nor should his bravery after enduring a badly cut right eye early on, but his ability to work it out as he goes along, at least in his current guise with an insistence he can do everything without a trainer, a plan or homework, should now always be questioned.

It’s true he comes on strong at the end but tonight, even when Groves had badly hurt his shoulder, it was obvious he would need many more rounds than the scheduled 12 to get the better of his opponent. It’s been a long time, and in an era far removed from this one, that boxing was a fight to the death, after all.

Groves deserves all the plaudits. He deserves all the credit and prize money and titles. He turned a pick-em fight into a one-sided shellacking.

George Groves knew it all along. He told us from the start. And, with his arm in a sling, he told us again at the end.

“The better man won tonight.”

February 17, 2018
February 17, 2018
george groves beats chris eubank

Action Images/Andrew Couldridge

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THE George Groves vs Chris Eubank Jr WBA super-middleweight world title fight, and World Boxing Super Series semi-final, took place tonight at the Manchester Arena.

Groves defended his world title and won a place his spot in the final later this year. Chris Eubank Jr fell on George Groves with ferocity but without accuracy. He unsettled Groves when he clattered in on the inside but could snag Groves on the end of his combinations all too rarely.

Groves manoeuvred, landed jabs to keep Eubank at bay and hammered him with a heavy right to force the challenger back.

The two collided in a tumultuous final round, with Groves dropping his hands leaning in and rolling away from punches. Eubank’s left hooks collided with Groves’ chin at times but he couldn’t capitalise on those success and Groves was a worthy winner.

He took a unanimous decision, 117-112 for Howard Foster, 116-112 for Steve Gray and 115-113 for Marcus McDonnell.

Scroll down for how the action unfolded as it happened

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February 17, 2018
February 17, 2018
Joe Joyce

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DAVID HAYE’S rivalry with Dereck Chisora is set to be reprised – in the shape of Haye’s protege Joe Joyce.

Olympic silver medallist Joyce won his second professional fight on Friday, demolishing Rudolf Jozic inside a round at York Hall.

Haye promotes Joyce and has history with Chisora, having beaten him at Upton Park in 2012 after an acrimonious build-up which saw the men fight at a press conference in Germany.


Haye has a heavyweight rematch against Tony Bellew at the O2 on May 5 and plans are now in place for his fighter to take on Chisora on the undercard.

“Good news for British fight fans, Dereck Chisora shook Joe Joyce’s hand a couple of weeks ago and said if the money was right.. myself and Eddie Hearn have put a financial package together for him to do it on May 5,” Haye said on Twitter.

David Haye beat Dereck Chisora in 2012
David Haye beat Dereck Chisora in 2012 (Nick Potts/PA)

Haye lost to Bellew when they met last year, a ruptured Achilles hindering him, while a slated December rematch was called off when Haye injured his arm. They finally fight again in 11 weeks.

February 17, 2018
February 17, 2018
Raymundo Beltran

Mikey Williams/Top Rank

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FINALLY Raymundo Beltran has achieved his dream. Enduring the frustrations of three previously failed world title attempts he won the WBO lightweight when he beat Paulus Moses by unanimous decision in Reno on Friday (February 16).

Beltran said, “I have no words. I gave everything I had. I really had to push myself. He is a very experienced and tough fighter. He surprised me with a couple of good punches, but right away I thought about my family and everything I have been throughout my career.

“I gave it my all. I made my career the tough way, and now I’m a champion.”

Raymundo Beltran

Undefeated welterweight contender Egidijus ‘The Mean Machine’ Kavaliauskas successfully defended his NABF welterweight title by knocking out David Avanesyan at 1-55 of the sixth round.

“I’m very happy right now. All I want to do is smile. I wanted to win with all my heart because I knew he was a very tough opponent. I want to face the best. Hopefully, my next fight is a world title. Crawford is fighting Horn for the world title. I want to face the winner,” Kavaliauskas said.

Olympic silver medallist Shakur Stevenson dominated Juan Tapia via unanimous decision, saying, “I felt good. I‘m going to keep doing what I’m doing. I felt like I looked like I was supposed to in my first eight round fight. I’m a perfectionist. I’m going to pick it up from here and keep getting better and better.”

Brazil’s Olympic gold medallist, Robson Conceicao got a unanimous decision victory against Ignacio Holguin. He said, “I trained very hard for five months in Brazil and it showed during the fight. I felt very good in this fight. I will keep working hard to keep improving more and more with each fight that passes.”

Heavyweight contender Bryant Jennings beat Akhor Muralimov by technical knockout at 1-12 of the third round. Jennings declared, “I want the big fights. We just have goals. I have a team that’s very committed. We’re ready to take on the best. I just keep getting more comfortable.  With each fight, I’m getting more and more comfortable.”

Unbeaten welterweight prospect Alexander Besputin defeated Wesley Tucker by technical knockout at the end of the fifth round. Ricardo Lucio-Galvan defeated Keneth Guzman by technical knockout in the third round. Sagadat Rakhmankul stopped Noel Esqueda at 1-51 of the fifth round.

February 17, 2018
February 17, 2018
best bets george groves chris eubank jr

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The best bets for George Groves – Chris Eubank Jr

OKAY, let’s get this out of the way first. If you’re going to gamble, make sure you’re 18 years old and you’re doing it sensibly and your stake is no more than what you can afford to lose because, in all likelihood, you are going to lose.

But, and let’s be honest, for many boxing fans – particularly educated fans like you – a little bet is an essential part of enjoying the fight. Particularly a fight like tonight’s barnburner that pits Chris Eubank Jr against WBA super-middleweight champion George Groves, a scrap that began life as torrid sparring wars, and has split opinion like only the best matchups can.

Looking at the odds HERE, it’s easy to see why punters are going all Nostradamus and betting on a round that the fight will finish.

For example, if you were to place £5 on George Groves to win in round six, a session where – if you study his form over the years – the Hammersmith star is generally at his most precise and ferocious, you will collect an inviting £130 to put towards your summer holiday fund if you’re correct.

Similarly, if you believe what the whispers from the Chris Eubank Jr camp are telling us, and that is he will jump all over Groves early, force mistakes and openings and the referee to rescue Groves in round seven, then your £5 stake will net you a cool £95.

Furthermore, if the early stages are as ferocious as many people are predicting – and given the nature of their sparring wars, it’s unlikely there will be much of a ‘feeling out’ process – it’s perfectly feasible that a stoppage could occur in the opening three sessions. Spread your bets around there, say £2 on rounds one, two and three for both Groves and Eubank, and you will find that you have, at the very least, quadrupled your £12 investment should the end come within nine minutes of action.

However, while the long odds on an early finish, or indeed a stoppage at any point between round one and 12 are tempting, fights between two elite fighters like this often go the full route. It’s true that Groves was stopped by Carl Froch but to suggest Eubank has punch like the one the Cobra uncorked in the rematch is a stretch.

Likewise, Eubank Jr may find that Groves hits harder than anyone he’s shared a prize ring with before, but sturdy chins like Martin Murray, Glen Johnson and Christopher Rebrasse all went 12 and it follows that the Brightonian can survive too.

So the smart money – in my eyes at least – is to place your funds, those you can afford to lose don’t forget, on it going to distance.

Even the draw, at 20-1, is worth looking at.

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February 17, 2018
February 17, 2018
George Groves vs Chris Eubank Jr stream

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In the fifth and final part of Adam Booth’s Groves vs. Eubank Jr breakdown, the trainer of world champions comes down from the fence and, though admitting he can make a case for both, finally picks a winner ahead of this Saturday’s (February 17) World Boxing Super Series semi-final.

In part four of Booth’s breakdown, he explained how Chris Eubank Jr’s ‘uncoachability’ could work in the Brighton man’s favour and also touched on how both super-middleweights had improved since their time as sparring partners.


 

Question: Chris Eubank Jr has moved up in weight for the World Boxing Super Series, whereas George Groves is a solid, long-time super-middleweight. Will that be a factor?

Adam Booth: “Although George is the naturally bigger man, Eubank, physically, is a handful. I don’t think there’s much between them in that department. Eubank is lean, he looks strong at the weight, whereas George has looked a little bit fleshy in recent fights.”

Q: Who wins the battle of the jabs?

AB: “Who’s got the better jab? Groves. Who’s got the better right hand? Groves. It sounds simple when you put it like that. Eubank’s jab isn’t necessarily that good. He throws it out when he instinctively thinks he should. His jab is more instinctive than Groves’. But George is more technically proficient in every department. Basically, what you have is a very technical box-puncher against a very instinctive and genetically-gifted brawler.”

Q: How does George Groves win this fight?

AB: “He needs to prevent it becoming a hard, gruelling fight. He needs it to be a clean, sterile punching exhibition, and he needs to nullify the stuff up close, manhandle Eubank Jr, don’t linger, and just keep using the unpredictable sharp-shooting style, without having any doubts in the second half of the fight. Don’t doubt your legs; don’t doubt your defence. If he does all that, George can win.”

Q: How does Chris Eubank Jr win the fight?

AB: “The first thing he has got to do is nullify that jab. If he can stop that jab finding a home early in the fight, he really has got the upper hand. That’s more than half the battle for him.

“If Junior can impose himself on George and open up the doubts that must be there – they will be there more in George than Junior because Junior hasn’t been broken yet – then it’s Junior’s fight.”

Q: Who wins?

AB: “I can make an equal case for both, I really can, but if I absolutely had to pick one of them I’d go with Eubank and that’s based on one thing: I think it’s a fight he wants and I think it’s a fight Groves has to have. He has no choice. Given the choice, I don’t think he’d take this fight. Junior craves it, though, and that’s going to make him hard to beat. The desire for this fight must play some role.”

February 17, 2018
February 17, 2018
Anthony Joshua vs Carlos Takam

Action Images/Andrew Couldridge

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IN just a few hours Chris Eubank Jr will be stepping into the ring with George Groves to fight for the WBA super-middleweight title and a place in the final of the World Boxing Super Series. It is the biggest fight of his career and it’s tantalising to consider how the normally unflappable Eubank is feeling now.

“I’ve been fighting my entire life. I was nervous in my first pro fight, walking to the ring my heart was pumping at a thousand beats per second. Now I’m in my element. This is my home now,” Junior said. “I’m too hungry. I’m too committed. I’ve come too far now.”

Eubank has a simple ambition, even if it is one that will be hard to accomplish. He wants to get to the same level that Anthony Joshua currently enjoys.

“Heavyweights they do have that pull, which is very hard to compete with. But Anthony’s doing an amazing job. He’s putting on great fights, he’s doing what he needs to do. Us as British fighters we’re looking at that and everyone’s trying to emulate it. We all want to get to the position where you can fill up a stadium of 80,000, 100,000 people. I believe winning this tournament would put me in that same pool, well it’s not a pool because it’s just one guy. It’d put me that same category. The potential’s there for sure,” Eubank reflected.

Anthony Joshua

“[Froch-Groves] was one fight, it was a one-off and it was a controversial fight before, there was the beef and the back and forth and so that created a lot of interest. Whereas Anthony he’s having these fights and he’s not even saying anything before these fights. He’s shaking the guy’s hand and wishing him the best of luck. It’s crazy. I’ve never seen anything like it. But the public, they love it. It’s great. It’s great for British boxing.

“Boxing is at an all time high now. If there was ever a time for [Eubank senior’s era] to be replicated, this is it. This is the generation that can do it. The next generation.”