George Groves outboxed and outfought Chris Eubank to retain his WBA super middleweight world title and advanced to the final of the World Boxing Super Series tournament.
Groves (28-3, 20 KO's), 29, of the United Kingdom, won on scores of 117-112, 116-112, and an odd 115-113. FightNights.com scored it 117-111 for Groves.
It did not appear that Eubank (26-2, 20 KO's), 28, of the United Kingdom, had a gameplan. Although FightNights.com had it 4-3 for Groves through seven rounds, Eubank's offense was sloppy, and he landed punches at a sporadic rate.
Eubank has looked impressive against tier-three and tier-two opposition, but against tier-one opposition, he has looked average, and this was another example.
Groves boxed effectively from the outside for most of the 12 rounds and even when he appeared to be tired, he was able to keep Eubank at bay with a solid jab, and hard right hands.
“He was strong inside, which we expected, but, you know, I’m very, very happy with the performance,” Groves said.
“The shoulder’s pretty sore, but I wasn’t going to let anything beat me tonight. Here tonight, I wasn’t going to let any injury get me out. It was about who wanted it most, I think, and I wanted it most.”
Groves suffered a shoulder injury in the 12th round, and Matchroom Sport promoter Eddie Hearn noted that it appeared that he had "popped his shoulder out," a sign of a possible dislocation.
Eubank, who was cut above the right eye from a clash of heads, thought he did enough in the championship rounds to win the bout and advance in the WBSS.
“I thought I did enough in the later rounds to win the fight, I thought it was a close fight, but all credit to George,” Eubank said.
“This is a part of boxing. Hopefully, we can get a rematch, and it was enough of a good fight to have another one.”
But that is simply ludicrous. Groves was the clear victor, and there is no merit behind a rematch.
This is Eubank's second professional loss, the first coming to middleweight world titleholder Billy Joe Saunders, who scored a split decision win back in 2014 when the pair fought for a pair of European belts.
Groves will face the winner of Callum Smith vs. Juergen Braehmer, which goes down Feb. 24 at Arena Nürnberger Versicherung in Bayern.