George Groves Targeting July Return
WBA super-middleweight champion George Groves targeting July return to the ring, for the WB Super Series Final against Callum Smith.
WBA super-middleweight champion George Groves underwent surgery following a shoulder dislocation. Sustained while he triumphed over Chris Eubank Jr, in the WBSS semifinals earlier in February.
Groves took to his Twitter handle to assure fans that he hopes to be fit box Callum Smith in July.
“The good news is, I’ll be fit to fight in the final in July,” wrote Groves adding that he “will be applying to the WB Super Series for a one-month extension.”
Grove’s clash with Callum was pencilled for June 2, the WBSS had indicated that they have no intentions of moving it to a later date. Instead, they would give Groves just a couple of weeks to recuperate.
If the WBSS accepts Groves’ application to fight at a later date, it will equally benefit Callum Smith who sustained hand bruises when he smashed late-replacement Nieky Holzken in the semifinal fix.
WBSS chief and Groves’ promoter Kale Sauerland said the WBSS would enter into discussions with Groves, his camp and his doctors “before a final decision is taken.”
Groves v Smith
Groves had travelled to Nuremberg, Germany to watch Smith take on Holzken. After the bout, Grove and Smith posed for a stare-down inside the ring, to the delight of hundreds of fans.
Smith bagged his 24th win in his boxing career, stopping the Dutch kickboxer-turned boxer from making his debut at the WBSS finals. Holzken crossed over from kickboxing a few years ago and his fight against Smith was significant in placing him on the world boxing stage.
He came into the semifinals to replace German, Jurgen Braehmer, who pulled out after a fever infection. Holzken arguably put up a good defence, taking the more experienced Englishman to a full twelve rounds.
Liverpudlian Callum Smith, though disappointed not to face Braehmer said:”It was about reaching the final with Groves, that’s the fight I want.”
“I look forward to it,” added Smith, “he was the one I wanted to beat. I hope his shoulder is OK.”
WB Super Series
The WBSS has two weight categories; cruiserweight and super-middleweight. The cruiserweight final is already locked, with Oleksandr Usky and Murat Gassiev set to fight on May 11, in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Groves has in various instances made it clear that he looks forward to fighting in the final, where the winner takes home the envied Mohamed Ali Trophy.
“Realistically, if I asked them to push it back, it will be weeks, not months.” Said Groves in an interview with Telegraph Sports.
“This is the Ali Trophy, it is the greatest name on it, and I’m the No.1 with The Ring, and in the tournament.” Groves asserted, articulating his craving for to settle the scores in the finals.
Responding to concerns that Groves shoulder might take longer to recover than expected, Callum Smith’s promoter Eddie Hearn, who also sits on the advisory panel for WBSS said,
“However long it is, even next year, we are prepared to wait. Groves versus Smith is the final people want to see.”
Smith shared similar sentiments saying: “There’s no bigger fight in my division at the moment than Groves. I’m happy to wait until George is fit. “
Whichever the case, it is clear that both camps are ready to give Groves time to recover and the WBSS decision is highly likely to be in Groves’ favour.