It’s strange how this great sport of ours works at times. Chris Eubank Junior, outclassed and comprehensively beaten by George Groves in February’s semi-final of the still-ongoing World Boxing Super Series super-middleweight tournament, may appear in the grand final after all.
Groves, who badly injured his shoulder, dislocating it in the final minutes of his otherwise dominant decision win over Eubank Jr, may now be out of the final and, according to promoter Kalle Sauerland who spoke with Sky Sports, the Brighton man who was humbled three months ago is well in the frame to replace Groves.
Groves, who underwent surgery on his damaged shoulder, has been given a 10-day deadline, after which it will be determined, and then announced, if Groves will be fighting Callum Smith in the summer final or not. Sauerland says that the final WILL go ahead before the summer break and not after; that “we will stretch as far as we possibly can but the tournament structure will always be precedent.”
Sauerland says “no fighter is bigger than the tournament.”
“We are waiting for the final discussions and reports from George before we know whether he will be able to make the timeline of the final,” Sauerland said. “We’re looking for all kinds of solution if it isn’t possible with George. If we need a replacement then I would look for a solution from within the tournament so Eubank Jr is a name that would come up.”
Sauerland added how a Smith-Eubank fight is a “great fight,” one that would be looked at as such if it happened outside of the WBSS tournament. But wouldn’t it be one huge career turnaround for Eubank, who has lost his two biggest fights – to Billy Joe Saunders and to Groves – if he did get a place in the final and then managed to defeat Smith.
It is possible, even if the Eubank critics (of both fighter and father/handler Eubank Snr) would argue against it. Groves beat Eubank quite handily, yes – but would Smith? It’s an intriguing possibility of a fight, one that could happen. Ideally, the winner would then face a fully fit Groves at a later date.
Eubank Jr might just have been handed a potential career lifeline.