George Groves lost via split decision to Badou Jack at the MGM Grand last night in his third attempt to become a world champion at Super Middleweight.
The judges at ringside scored the fight 116-111, 115-112 and 114-113 in Jack’s favour after 12 rounds of good quality boxing.
Groves started off brightly in the opening round, however, he was floored by an overhand right from Jack in the latter stages which scuppered his early momentum.
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The Londoner wasn’t badly hurt; he recovered quickly and just shaded the second round after some good work; his jab, in particular, was working well.
Jack, who is a particularly nonchalant operator, produced the better work in the third round. His jab was keeping Groves at bay and the former Olympian was looking very comfortable and composed.
Groves fought back well in the fourth round after some more good work with his jab. He was, however, struggling to land any powerful shots whatsoever with his right hand.
In the middle period of the fight, Groves did manage to land a few good right hands, but Jack never really looked hurt or particularly uncomfortable with what was coming his way.
Groves, who had put in a huge effort, was beginning to feel the pace after the eighth round. Jack’s cornermen were confident that the champion could stop Groves, telling their man that Groves was “done”.
Jack, who fights under Mayweather Promotions, did enough to win round 10 after landing some impressive body shots that seemed to hurt Groves.
Despite a valiant effort in the last round, Groves fell short of capturing the treasured WBC title and his record is now: 24 fights, 21 wins (16 KO’s) and 3 losses – all of which have come when challenging for world titles.
Badou Jack’s record, on the other hand, improved to 20 wins (12 KO’s), 1 loss and 1 draw from his 22 professional fights.
Groves thought he had done enough to win the fight, he commented: “I thought I won the fight decisively”, he later went on to add: “I thought I controlled the fight with my jab and that I was in control throughout”.
After the victory, Jack said: “I haven't thought about my next fight yet, but there's a lot of big fights for me. I heard Julio Cesar Chavez Jr wants to fight me. I want to enjoy this win, but I will fight anyone”.