Pick Em


Paul J Daley – Eubank Jr via TKO – I have to be honest, this one has got me a little flummoxed in my pick, even reading the picks of the contributors below I have found myself agreeing with the advantages that have been raised for both  men, further making me scratch my head in search of a winner.

In the end, I went with my original pick of Chris Eubank Jr, sure Groves is the bigger of the two, possibly shading the stakes in the power department too but Eubank Jr represents a fighter on the ascendency which I don’t think stops on Saturday night.

Eubank Jr divides the boxing community, he’s like Marmite, you either like him or despise him, for me I have always held an affection for the characters of the sport, exemplified of my favourite fighters such as Roy Jones Jr and Johnny Tapia, for me the bravado is part of the show I enjoy, Eubank Jr finds himself in this category as did his father.

There are concerns with my pick, especially after reading the comments recently from Adam Booth who give us a slight insight on the sparring between the two men, sparring which apparently was edged by Groves.

Billy Joe Saunders also laid the foundations that Eubank Jr can be outboxed which will excite the support of Groves who in my opinion holds the best jab in boxing period, if he can keep him at a distance, this is his best percentage of victory, able to jab and walk Eubank on to shots.

All that taken in to account, Eubank, knows his time has come, his work rate, shot selection and ability to take a punch will all lend their hand to getting him through the bout the victor, possibly by stoppage late on.

Dan Barrett – Eubank Jr Via TKO – I’ll confess off the bat to preferring the incarnation of Groves under Paddy Fitzpatrick, who, I felt, harnessed the best in Groves, and who fashioned a mental framework within which George’s congenital talents of athleticism, timing, and shrewdness, were best able to shine. After the thorough icing he’d received at the cusp of bout #2 w Froch – a self-inflicted starching precipitated by pure inattentiveness & heedlessness – one could sense certain unwelcome aftereffects. The native sharpness didn’t seem to be there to the same degree. Athleticism, for sure, remained, as well as the athletic instincts and counterpunching savvy; but in all, things seemed just a tad muted. The constant in George, however, that seems most troubling, is one of character: a creeping carelessness that impinges during the course of a fight. My hunch is that somewhere in the late paragraphs, we’ll see a glimpse of this; that feature will figure into a scenario in which George will incur a hard stoppage.

I’m trusting Jr’s combination of power, graduated aggression, and quantified use of distance here. Even as a mere candidate for reputation, he’d showed himself capable, through adjustment of range and a certain offensive moxie & puissance, of imperilling the canny & slippery Saunders late in their bout; now, w some elapse of years, he’s stropped and refined his offensive gifts, as well as his boxing science, and he’s showed little that would prove as hindrance in terms of temperamental deficiency. I see him eventually, w a careful administration of distance, wearing down Groves, getting through, malignantly, w the upward trajectory of his power punches, and acquiring the stoppage in a late round.”

Steve Haigh – Groves Via Points – Saturday night is the standout fight to date as far as the super middleweights are concerned in the Ali Trophy tournament and is not by any means a clear or easy pick in terms of a winner.

George Groves has come along way since his brave but unsuccessful attempts of Froch. He is now the ‘Super’ WBA 168lb champion, in good form and has momentum.

He also has great ring IQ, a noticeable size advantage and great economy, he doesn’t waste punches or throw for the sake of it.

Groves also possesses a spiteful jab and is the stronger and harder puncher.

He has also been on the big stage before.

This tournament is somewhat Chris Eubanks coming out party and he finally has to step up his opposition this fight.He must deliver on what he and his father have preached for long enough.

We must not pretend that he is a super middleweight by any stretch but so far his lack of credible opponents have enabled him to keep winning and pick up the IBO bauble since losing to BJ Saunders in 2014.

Ok so Head to head?

As previously stated George Groves has proven he can perform on the biggest stage and is now a legitimate world champion.He has better big fight experience.He is stronger and is more ring savvy. He punches harder, has better shot selection and economy.

Also, he is very mindful of position and distance.

Chris Eubank has an edge in speed and maybe stamina but he also has a point to prove and is hungry for big success which makes him a dangerous opponent but it’s time to deliver or be silent.

My belief is that Groves holds the fight in his hands providing he uses the correct game plan and keeps his head.

If he uses his bigger presence and wears the fight out of Eubank by the second half its job half done and can win inside 12 rounds, however, he has to preserve his gas tank and use his energy wisely. He has an excellent jab and it’s a key weapon.

Eubank can be uppercut happy and it may cost him?

I do think the fight goes 12 rounds through and I favour George Groves by decision

Possibly split or majority?

Rob Day – Eubank – This a Great match-up. Really hard to call with any certainty. I think Eubank will set a high pace and go for a stoppage late on. Groves power could win him the fight, it’ll be interesting to see how Eubank handles it. Eubank has really impressed and I think it’s his time to shine

Wilson Scott – Groves Via Points – I feel its only Groves’ fight to lose, if he stays cool and fights his fight, I feel he can win on points no problem could even get the KO or put down Jnr, walking him onto shots.

On the flipside, if he lets Eubank get under his skin and tries to go toe to toe or gets sloppy Eubank could get the win.

I’m choosing George on points by a wide margin! But Its the fight game eh, one punch can change it all. I hope its a good one and we the fans benefit from it.

Lee Thornton – Eubank Via Points – George Groves comes into this fight with the experience edge along with being the more technical boxer. Groves will have a good gameplan, having Shane Mcguigan in his corner.

Chris Eubank Jr comes into this fight as confident as ever after his outstanding performance last time out. Eubank Jr will be the fresher fighter with an edge in combination punching and conditioning.

I believe Eubank Jr will win this fight by outworking Groves and landing combinations as the fight moves into the later rounds. George Groves will show us boxing fans what Chris Eubank is all about.

I look forward to seeing how Eubank Jr reacts to Groves power punching and jabs. I picked Eubank Jr from the start to win this tournament by playing to his strengths and learning in every fight. I have Eubank Jr winning by UD I think his hand speed, combinations and ability to push the pace throughout this fight will be key

Craig Morgan – Groves Via Points – This is a great matchup & the epitome of what the World Boxing Super Series is all about.

2 formidable boxers, George Groves, the WBA Super – Super Middleweight champion, against the lesser recognised IBO Super Middleweight champion, Chris Eubank Jr.

Going by experience in big fights, Groves is way ahead but Eubank Jr could well be on the verge of something big. Groves has had some tough fights and has a lot of hard miles on the clock, whereas Eubank Jr is fresher & seems to be getting better with each fight.

Groves has always said that he does well against boxers that he’s naturally bigger than, he’ll be the bigger man on the night by a good margin. Groves boils down to 168lbs but Eubank Jr walks around just above the super middleweight limit & has admitted that he’s a natural middleweight.

Eubank Jr is the more explosive but if he can’t hurt Groves, he could be pushed back & be in for a frustrating night.

I’ve changed my mind a few times but I’m going for a George Groves close points win

Sam Constantinou Coulter – Groves Via Points – Groves v Eubank Jr is a fantastic fight full of intrigue.

Groves is the experienced world champion who has operated at the top level for several years now. At his best, he is a fantastic fighter who controls a fight with his quick jab and lands hurtful, accurate shots.

Eubank Jr is a steam engine like fighter who comes forward with all-out aggression. He continually throws combinations and looks to grind his opponent down.

This fight seems certain to be an entertaining one and boxing fans should be licking their lips with anticipation.

In terms of picking a winner between the two, I have to be honest in saying that I keep changing my mind. One minute I believe that Groves natural size, power and skill will see him to victory and the next I feel that Eubank’s relentless assaults may prove too much for Groves in the championship rounds.

When it comes to sticking my neck on the line I have to edge in favour of Groves.

Eubank Jr is easy to hit at times and Groves has good power.

I am predicting a points win in favour of George Groves but I’m not confident in doing so and that is why this is such a good fight

Dean Berks – Eubank Via Stoppage – What a domestic match-up this is and to think there’s every chance that Callum Smith will be facing the winner.

Hats off to the WBSS. It’s always good when a fight is regarded as being so close that opinion is almost divided straight down the middle. Whatever happens, it should certainly provide engrossing entertainment. Which brings us down to picking a winner.

I like both fighters for different reasons. Groves has learnt so much from his losses and it was fitting that he finally captured a world title. Eubank has all the posturing of his dad and he really is a serious talent between 160 & 168 lbs.

A brilliant contrast of characters. I have to lean towards Eubank though. I have a feeling we may have seen the best of Groves and that Eubank may well have another gear to move up in to. Groves does have a vulnerability about him, whilst Eubank appears to have inherited his dad’s durability. In a gruelling fight, I take Eubank to advance to the final by late rounds stoppage.

Daniel Lo Turco – Eubank Via KO – This has the potential to be one of the fights of the year!

Both fighters Have very similar stats:

Age, Eubank 28, Groves 29.

Height, Eubank 180cm, Groves 182cm

Reach, Eubank 184cm, Groves 183cm

Groves has proven in the past he is not to be underestimated, a naturally heavier fighter, he’s a warrior. Groves’ fights with Carl Froch in the past have proven he has tremendous heart & is more than capable of beating Eubank Jnr, If he gets his fight plan right on the night.

Eubank however, is a machine, physically and mentally. His recent fights are showing that he has come of age, this is “his” time. When required, he can move up through the gears and impose his superior strength with relentless pressure and unerring accuracy.

This is going to be a tough, gruelling fight for both and won’t finish quickly. I can see the fight building slowly through the early rounds while they size each other up, and becoming a war in the middle to later rounds.

The result, in my opinion, will see Eubank Jnr crowned the winner by knockout in the 9th round.

Richard Lewis – Eubanks via Points – Ever since the draw was made for the Super-Middleweight division of the World Boxing Super Series George Groves and Chris Eubank Jr as seeded Boxers have seemingly been on a collision course. With both men coming into the fight with devastating stoppage victories last time out, over Jamie Cox and Avni Yildrim respectively, further enhances their confidence going into this fight.

As we know neither man is shy in coming forward and saying what they think and have shared some bad words in the build-up, most notably talking about the several sparring sessions they’ve had with one another in the past, which can be expected. But with two versions of the ‘World title’ on the line in Groves’ WBA Super and Eubank Jr’s lesser IBO title, not to mention a place in the WBSS final up for grabs, as well as it being an all British clash which for some reason adds further excitement, then this fight really sells itself.

Picking a winner though in what many have dubbed as a 50/50 fight has proven to be a tough thing with my mind changing several times. Will George Groves use his effective jab to good use and also use his power and size difference to keep Eubank Jr at bay and punish him like we know that he can? Will Chris Eubank Jr start fast like he has in his last few fights and look to use his speed and agility and use a flurry of punches to maintain a hold of the early rounds and establish a good points lead, minus the posing I hope, all the while aware of the power that Groves possess, knowing if he stands still for too long he’s in danger of being caught with some heavy blows that could land him in serious trouble?

I’m a fan of George Groves and do think if he comes through this fight then he’ll win the tournament outright. But that said though my heart is saying, Groves, my head is leaning towards Eubank Jr, and I’ve a feeling he may just win by the closest of margins come Saturday night in Manchester, with his hand raised after 12 tough close rounds and taking either a split or majority decision victory. Regardless who wins through the World Boxing Super Series for me has been a revelation and really come to life and captured the attention of Boxing fans from around the globe in both the Super-Middleweight and Cruiserweight divisions, where we’ve seen fights happen that may not normally of because of the politics that having multiple ‘world champions’ at each weight often brings. Long may it continue and roll on Saturday night when hopefully we’ll see another excellent fight an advert for this great sport.


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