Photo credit - Action Images via Reuters
Later this evening, WBA super-middleweight champion George Groves, from Hammersmith, London, takes on Callum Smith, from Liverpool, in the World Boxing Super Series Final. Held in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, the event will see Groves’ WBA belt on the line, along with the Muhammad Ali Trophy.
Groves (28-3; 20) will be hoping to successfully defend his world title for a third time tonight against an unbeaten Callum Smith (24-0; 17), trained by Manchester-based Joe Gallagher. He certainly has the edge in this contest as far as experience is concerned, having had more fights, and crucially more world title fights, under his belt. Indeed, this will be Groves’ seventh world title fight, yet Smith’s first. Groves, who made his professional debut in 2008, has certainly fought a higher pedigree of opponents in his long career, having been in the ring with the likes of Carl Froch, Badou Jack, and James DeGale. The wisdom and experience of Groves could sway the outcome of the fight in the Londoner’s favour, as shown against a younger and less-experienced Chris Eubank Jr in the semi-final of the WBSS back in February. The well-rounded Groves is also known for his terrific jab, and the level of success he has tonight with his trustworthy left hand is likely to go a long way in determining who emerges victorious in Jeddah.
Callum Smith, however, is no novice and will be looking for revenge on behalf of his brother Paul, who was defeated by Groves via TKO in 2011. Since making his debut in 2012, he has gone on to win all 24 of his professional bouts and has held English, British, European and WBC silver titles. Like Groves, Smith had an excellent amateur career, winning a silver medal in the 2012 Commonwealth Games. Despite Groves weighing in heavier than Smith, the latter possesses advantages in terms of both height and reach, which he no doubt will be looking to capitalise on in order to prevent Groves from being able to utilise his jab. There are also doubts over the fitness of George Groves, who has admitted that rehabilitation from a shoulder injury suffered in his last bout against Eubank Jr has been particularly difficult. Should the injury cause problems for Groves, then a fresher and faster Smith is likely to use his technical ability and physical advantages to overcome the world champion in tonight’s North v South battle in the Middle East.
Prediction: Groves on points (if his shoulder holds out), using his jab and experience to outbox Smith. Who you guys got? Sound off in the comments below…