Chris Eubank Jr ready to prove himself in ‘defining fight’ with George Groves
Groves’ WBA crown and Eubank Jr’s lesser-regarded IBO strap are at stake on Saturday night.
Chris Eubank Jr believes he will become the number one super-middleweight in the world if he overcomes George Groves in their world title showdown this weekend.
Groves is making the second defence of his WBA crown at the Manchester Arena on Saturday night while his younger British foe is putting his lesser-regarded IBO strap on the line.
A place in the final of the World Boxing Super Series final is also at stake and Eubank Jr accepts this could be the bout that moves him out of his famous father and namesake’s shadow as he eyes hoovering up all the belts in the 168lbs division.
The stare down... pic.twitter.com/0nMfia3NaU— Phil Medlicott (@pgmedlicott) February 14, 2018
He said at the pre-fight press conference: “This is a defining fight for me, this is the fight that can propel me to the top of the sport, it gives me the right to say I am legitimately the best super-middleweight in the world.
“Two world titles, that’s every fighter’s dream and it’s just the beginning – it’s collection season, I’m coming for all the belts. After this tournament all the other guys who hold belts are all on the hit list. George Groves is just the first one to bite the dust.
“This is my time, this is my opportunity to prove everything I’ve been saying is real and it’s to prove that the doubters, the naysayers, the keyboard warriors are wrong.”
Eubank Jr, who has won his last eight fights since losing for the only time as a professional to Billy Joe Saunders in November 2014, added: “I don’t think George is fully committed to this fight and I don’t think he’s willing to give everything to win. I am and there’s nothing that George can do that is going to stop me.”
Groves won a world title at the fourth attempt by stopping Fedor Chudinov last May, having fallen short in previous attempts against Carl Froch, twice, and Badou Jack, before defeating Jamie Cox in his first defence five months later.
While he played down suggestions of the importance of this fight to him, Groves rubbished Eubank Jr questioning his appetite.
He said: “This is not my biggest fight to date but I am in the form of my life, certainly in the best shape of my career, and fully prepared to go out and retain my world title in style.
“I’m world champion and I want to continue to be. I’ve sacrificed a lot, I’ve been through some terrible times to get to where I am now. Desire is one thing that I know I’ve always had in abundance. I’ve been able to pick myself up from the lowest of points to get back to the top.”
Groves quipped Eubank Jr will “probably blame his dad and move back down to middleweight” if he loses.
He added: “Junior is flapping already, he is a cliche, he is a gimmick. I’ve been here, I’ve done this many, many times. This is just another step along my journey.”
Eubank Jr responded by claiming Groves is envious of him, saying: “I think you would love to be me, you would love to be in my position. You would love to have the Instagram followers and the style (that I have).
“You’re even wearing the same suit I wore when we had our first face-off after your fight. I think you’re jealous, George.”