Scorecard: Groves vs Eubank Jr

Luke G. Williams
17/02/2018 11:42pm

George Groves outboxed Chris Eubank Jr in the World Boxing Super Series super-middleweight semi-final in Manchester, but a shoulder injury for the victor may prove troublesome with the final scheduled for 2 June. Here is how Luke G. Williams saw the contest for BM online...

Rd 1: Eubank Jr begins cautiously. Groves edges the round with his stiff left jab. Eubank needs to get in close but fails to do so. 10-9 Groves

Rd 2: A sharp left early from Eubank but caution then takes over. Groves is growing in confidence and begins to move forward more and boss proceedings. At one point Eubank touches down briefly - should that have been counted as a knockdown? Eubank looks ragged and almost a little desperate as he tries to rush Groves into the ropes but is easily tied up. 10-9 Groves

Rd 3: Eubank surges early on, landing some solid shots which discomfort Groves. However, midway through the round it's evident that Eubank is cut to his right eye. It's a bad cut. Groves controls most of the action but Eubank marginally outlanded him I think to edge the round. Eubank 10-9

Rd 4: Eubank can't close the distance for most of the round as Groves wins another stanza on ring generalship alone. Eubank has minor success towards the end but not enough to nick it. 10-9 Groves

Rd 5: The pattern of the first four rounds repeats itself - Eubank can't get inside, his jab falls short repeatedly when used. Groves is showing discipline and ring smarts. Sporadic Eubank success not enough to win the round. 10-9 Groves

Rd 6: Eubank wants to make it a war but Groves contemptuously shoves him through the ropes. A couple of other wild Eubank flurries are tied up by Groves who shows no signs of deviating from his focused game plan. 10-9 Groves

Rd 7: Eubank is showing spirit, but his tactics are too amateurish and easy to predict - wild lead left hooks by Junior are neither effective nor accurate for the most part. Eubank tries to wave Groves in but he's too smart to fall for that. Junior probably shaded that round but is already 5-2 behind on my card. 10-9 Eubank

Rd 8: The round follows the usual pattern, before exploding into life towards the end as first Eubank and then Groves land big shots. Eubank looks the more hurt though and his face is bloody. 10-9 Groves

Rd 9: A fast start from Eubank which soon peters out. In the final minute Eubank lunges forward through a bloodied face to try and land big shots. Both punch after the bell. Untidy but a Eubank round, just. 10-9 Eubank

Rd 10: Eubank lands a big left early but doesn't capitalise - that's a chance missed. Groves is looking a little ragged and tired but he is miles ahead. Again Eubank touches down but no knockdown is called. Be interesting to see the replay of that. Eubank looks tired and desperate. 10-9 Groves

Rd 11: Eubank tries for all he is worth - he lands a good left but it's an isolated success - as it's been all night for him. He ships a big shot from Groves too and returns to his corner looking like a beaten man. 10-9 Groves

Rd 12: Fair play to Eubank - he goes after Groves and lands a good uppercut. As the fight draws to a close, the two men sensationally go toe to toe with some dramatic slugging. Groves, who seems to have a shoulder injury, possibly a dislocation, lands a good uppercut which rocks Junior, but Groves also looks tired and is shaken a couple of times. Eubank can't find the big punch he needs though, despite that spirited salvo. 10-9 Eubank

Verdict: On my card Groves won 116-112, while the official scores were 117-112, 116-112 and 115-113 in the Hammersmith man's favour. Quite simply, Groves got his tactics spot on and made Eubank look amateurish for long stretches of what was, truth be told, a one-sided contest. Eubank showed heart, guts and bravery - but Groves matched him in these departments, and outboxed him too. One unanswered question remains though? What happens if Groves isn't fit for the final on 2 June? (I'm off to consult the WBSS rule book...)