Boxing

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Callum Smith responds as George Groves’ injury continues to put their bout in doubt

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Callum Smith put in a fantastic performance when he came up against Nieky Holzken in the WBSS semi-final just under three months ago.

The unbeaten super-middleweight ended the evening victorious after a unanimous decision 118-110, 117-11 and 117-111.

The victory meant that Smith would come face-to-face with WBA champion George Groves in the final which was initially set to take place on June 2 at London’s O2 Arena.

However, the latter underwent surgery on his shoulder after suffering an injury during his semi-final victory over Chris Eubank Jr.

Undoubtedly, the set-back raised major question marks over whether Groves will be fit to face Smith at all next month.

Therefore, the date was then pushed back 27 days to give the 30-year-old more time to regain fitness.

To rub salt into Groves’ wounds, Kalle Sauerland, Comosa’s Chief Boxing Officer, confirmed that Eubank Jr could jump in as Groves’ replacement, despite losing in the semi-final.

As for Smith, he is very much in preparation mode ahead of the final and has had his say on the current doubts surrounding the fight.

Callum Smith v Erik Skoglund: Super Middleweight Quarter-Final - World Boxing Super Series

"I was told June 2, then I was told June 29, and I was hearing if Groves wasn't ready, it was going to be Eubank Jr," Smith told Sky Sports.

"I'm hearing now maybe there is a chance it could go back to August-September. I'm in training and I've got to expect the unexpected. If they turn around and say it's Groves or Eubank Jr on June 29, then I've got to go with that date.”

With Smith hearing that the date could be put back, he then confirmed he would be more prepared to wait for Groves to regain fitness than face a replacement.

"It was all over social media that Eubank Jr was stepping in, it was official and stuff, and it was never official. Nothing had been confirmed to us. Then I was hearing maybe there's a chance they could put it back for Groves, which is what I want.

George Groves v Chris Eubank JR: Super Middleweight Semi-Final - World Boxing Super Series

He added: "I've said I would rather wait and fight Groves. He's got the world title, which is what I entered the tournament for. It's what I've wanted since turning pro and it seems to be running away from me.

"I will catch it someday. I feel like I would get more credit, more reward, more everything for beating George Groves, then I would Chris Eubank Jr."

Obviously it wouldn’t be the first time Smith came up against an opponent change in this competition having faced Holzken in the previous stage who stepped in for Juergen Braehmer.

However, it seems this time around the Brit is willing to wait for his opposite number to get back into the ring which means, consequently, he could be waiting for the big day significantly longer than planned.

Topics:
Middleweight
Callum Smith
Chris Eubank Jr
George Groves
Boxing

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