George Groves was successful in his first defence of his WBA Super middleweight title against Jamie Cox, in the quarter-finals of the WBSS at Wembley Arena.
The first round started cautiously with Groves looking to establish his jab. It turned out to be a thrilling round where Groves landed with a few right-hand counters, and then later on in the round Cox caught Groves as he marched towards the champion with real aggression. It was clear from here on in that Cox was going to do his best to make it a dogfight, and try to win the fight on the inside, meaning Groves was likely to sit back patiently and look to counter with his right hand. This is exactly how the fight panned out.
At the start of the second round, Cox picked up where he left from, and cut off the ring, forcing Groves into the corner, minimising his power and shot selection. The fast-paced work of Cox led to Groves being buzzed, but he was never seriously hurt and on the ropes, he evaded Cox’s barrage of punches effectively.
Cox certainly took the fight to Groves, but it was clear the better work was coming from Groves. Cox threw a lot of shots, but most of them didn’t land, and the ones that did land weren’t clean enough to hurt Groves. On the other hand, Groves’ work was the exact opposite. He threw a low volume of punches, but his work was of high quality. His right-hand counters which Cox walked onto numerous times were quick, powerful and accurate. The difference in class was apparent.
After three rounds, it was fair enough to have either fighter one round up. In the fourth, the fight ended with Groves throwing a terrific body shot which Cox wasn’t able to get up from.
Cox was very gracious in defeat in the post-fight interview and put up a good challenge against the number one seed in the tournament. While it lasted, the fight was action-packed and this was down to Cox, who can certainly come again, perhaps against John Ryder, who impressed on the undercard or against Anvi Yildrim, who lost to Chris Eubank Jnr in one of the other quarter-finals.
Talking about Eubank Jnr, he will be Groves’ next opponent in the semi-finals, with the fight scheduled to take place in January 2018. Cox was good preparation for Groves going into the Eubank Jnr fight as they’re both intense fighters who throw a high volume of punches. Of course, though, Eubank Jnr will pose a much a greater test for Groves than Cox, in what is deemed to be a real 50-50 fight.