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Boxing: George Groves not underestimating Chris Eubank Jr

PUBLISHED: 13:00 16 February 2018

George Groves celebrates his victory over Jamie Cox in October (pic: Scott Heavey/PA)

George Groves celebrates his victory over Jamie Cox in October (pic: Scott Heavey/PA)

PA Wire/PA Images

British super middleweight rivals meet in semi-finals of World Boxing Super Series in Manchester on Saturday

George Groves has stressed he is not underestimating Chris Eubank Jr - but is in no doubt he will defeat his fellow Briton when they clash this weekend.

The WBA super middleweight world champion fights Eubank Jr, holder of the lesser-regarded IBO title, at the Manchester Arena on Saturday in a World Boxing Super Series semi-final.

Former Dale Youth amateur Groves (27-3, 20 KOs) won his belt last May by beating Fedor Chudinov in what was his fourth attempt at claiming a world title, having previously fallen short against Carl Froch, twice, and Badou Jack.

And the 29-year-old has described this bout against Eubank Jr (26-1, 20 KOs) as “easier” than any of those, or overcoming James DeGale in 2011.

When asked if there was a danger of him underestimating Eubank Jr, Groves told Press Association Sport: “No.

“He may go on to prove me wrong, but I do believe my fights against James DeGale, Carl Froch, Badou Jack and Chudinov were tougher, not just because they were physically better fighters than Eubank Jr, which I believe they were, but the build-up, the business side of things, the pressure. All were far greater than this fight.

“I know he’s desperate to win this fight, to become world champion, to believe this is the fight that takes him out of his dad’s shadow.

“But desire alone is not enough. I have learned. I’ve been in fights where I would give anything to win and I get knocked out.

“It is not going to come down to who wants it most. This is about a level I don’t believe he can compete at, and once I start landing big shots, he’s not going to be able to stand up to them.

“I don’t think it will go 12 rounds. I will hurt Eubank Jr and once I have, he is not going to hear the final bell.”

As well as questioning the pedigree of Eubank Jr, who he has sparred with in the past, Groves has mocked the 28-year-old’s social media profile by branding him “Insta famous”, and called him a “cliche” and a “gimmick”.

Eubank Jr hit back by claiming “jealous” Groves would “love” to be him, and said the suit the latter wore to their pre-fight press conference this week was the same as one of his.

Regarding those comments, Groves said: “There is nothing Chris Eubank Jr does or has done that has influenced me in the slightest - to be honest, I’d go as far as to say I believe it is the other way around.

“He has been around watching me be part of big fights, and some of things he has said are quotes I have relied on.”

He added: “He is trying to sell himself.

“Right now he is at the opening of a crisp packet, the opening of a fridge door. He is in the gym every day, but he is also at premieres and parties.

“He is enjoying his moment, and it could come crashing down at any point - it might do Saturday after he loses, or he might have done enough to resurrect his career.

“But I’m not too fussed about what he is doing.”

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