WBA Super Champion George Groves (27-3, 20 KOs) and IBO World Champion Chris Eubank Jr. (26-1, 20 KOs) exchanged words for at last time before their Ali Trophy semi-final clash on Saturday at the Manchester Arena.
“I have been involved in big fights before and I’ve learned a lot along the way,” said Groves. “This is a tremendous fight but it’s not my biggest fight to date. But I am in the form of my life, certainly I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been in through my career. I’m fully prepared to go out there and retain my world title in style.”
“It’s not an expression that I particularly like but it comes down to levels and I’m levels above Junior.”
“I’ve sacrificed a lot and I’ve been through some terrible times to get here. Desire is one thing I’ve always had in abundance. I’ve picked myself up from the lowest points and now I’m at the top and enjoying it. I won’t be taking my eye off the ball.”
“I’m the number one seed and I will go on to win this tournament and win it well. I started last year and will continue this week. I’m ready and hopefully, he is too.”
Said Chris Eubank Jr.: “What motivates me is becoming the number one super middleweight in the world. This is my stage, my time, my opportunity to show everyone that everything I’ve been saying is real. It’s time to prove the doubters, the nay-sayers and keyboard warriors wrong”
“I’ve been dreaming about fighting on a stage like this since I was 14 years old. Two of the best super middleweights in the world are putting it all on the line and me being victorious on Saturday night. That’s my motivation.”
“The talking has been done and the levels and preparations and weight are irrelevant now. It’s just about going out there and performing. I’m willing to do that, but I don’t think George is fully committed to giving everything to win.”
“There is nothing George can do that is going to stop me.”
“This is a defining fight for me. It can propel me to the top of the sport. It gives me the right to say I’m the number one super middleweight in the world. Two world titles. That’s every fighter’s dream but this is just the beginning.
“It’s collecting season and I’m coming for all the belts. After the tournament, every other belt holder is on the hit list. George Groves is just the first.”
“The only thing Shane McGuigan needs to worry about on Saturday is having that white towel ready.”
Said Shane McGuigan, Groves’ trainer: “I’m not going to give away our tactics but we’ve prepared well. This has been the best camp we’ve ever had. We’ve sparred many, many rounds with some top quality operators.”
“I don’t think Chris Eubank has prepared the way we have, not in terms of the top quality experience that we have had.”
“We need to go out and execute the gameplan and come away with the win and that’s that.”
Said Ronnie Davies, Eubank Jr.’s trainer: “I’m with Chris seven says a week, we work together. He’s a phenomenal talent. Angelo Dundee never told Muhammad Ali what to do. He is a phenomenal fighter and he’s had good sparring, enough sparring with about 15 different opponents of good quality.”
“Chris is so talented that no matter who you put in front of him he’ll more than likely beat them up.”
Said Kalle Sauerland, Comosa’s Chief Boxing Officer: “It’s great to be here. Manchester is a great fight city and some great fights have taken place here before. And something special is taking place here this Saturday.”
“The World Boxing Super Series set out to do a number of things, unify championships, create storylines and build characters all the way from the draw to the final in the O2 Arena in London on 2nd June. This fight does that.”
“It’s a credit to the tournament that it’s put together a fight that would otherwise take years to make. It will capture the nation, I think it’s captured the nation already. It’s a fight between two athletes with vast amounts of talent in different areas. They are two gladiators putting it all on the line.”
For details on how to watch the British gladiators, on how to watch the hotly anticipated Ali Trophy semi-final, go to itvboxoffice.com.