Speaking exclusively to BitcoinCasinos.com – Chris Eubank Jr’s former opponent George Groves names three possible opponents for Eubank Jr after stopping Liam Smith on Saturday night.
He also reveals that he expects Conor Benn to return to the ring ‘either at the end of this month or next month” and calls Carl Froch’s “conned the fans” assessment of Liam Smith “harsh”
Question: Conor Benn, Gennady Golovkin and Josh Kelly were all linked to Eubank Jr after his win on Saturday, what’s the right fight for Eubank?
George Groves “Eubank would go through Josh Kelly. He’s struggled mentally in the past and we’ve seen him unravel, and I think that’s not the fight Eubank really wants to take on. I know they’ll be pushing and looking for a pay-per-view name, and I think Kelly could work, and we might land on that. But if it’s up at middleweight, Kelly hasn’t been up at middleweight yet. I don’t think Kelly’s right – you can’t be a one punch sort of fighter with Eubank – Kelly’s a sharpshooter, but I don’t think he has the power to finish Eubank if Eubank is strong at the weight, so I don’t think Kelly wins, but that’s quite a good fight if it can get made.”
“Golovkin is a great fight. I’m not sure what he has left. It might be the right time to get him. He hasn’t boxed for a year now and he’s just vacated one of his belts, so we’re not sure whether he’s accumulating injuries or father time has caught up with him. But that’s a fascinating fight and it will probably be my preference out of the three. Golovkin is a career middleweight, a big name, has great boxing ability and his boxing IQ’s not going to leave him. Maybe some of the athleticism has left him. But the ability to to manoeuvre himself into position to make those subtle adjustments, and then to punch off of it. He’s one of the best to do it in this era and he has frightening punch power, so I think that makes for a great fight, because neither will want to give away free shots. Eubank doesn’t have that one punch power, but if he’s a bit fresher than Golovkin and if he lands a decent body shot and then follows with three, four, five shots, it would be interesting. At the same time, can he sit in the pocket with Golovkin and is Golovkin’s power still there?”
“At the moment all we’re seeing is Conor Benn on the pads. It’s hard to keep up whether he’s actually served a drug ban, or whether they have just swept it under the carpet, or whether he’s been totally exonerated, and if so what was it all about? But I think if he’s clear to box and he’s still pushing for that Eubank fight, he would no doubt want or need a little tune up first, and I think that will be happening soon. I think that’s been scheduled to happen either at the end of this month or next month, so they might end up landing on Eubank-Benn next year at middleweight, not a catchweight. It could be super exciting and an amazing fight. My preference is Golovkin. But I think we’ll end up with Benn next.”
Q: What do you make of Carl Froch saying Smith conned the fans?
George Groves “Froch saying Smith conned the fans is really harsh. Hardly ever do you have a camp where you are injury free and if fighters kept pulling out because everything’s not perfect we’d never see any fights, and I would lose respect for them. Smith said he was flat. He said the injury meant he couldn’t lose weight. And he was asked the question ‘was it hard to make weight this time?’ He’s not going to lie and say it was easy. He’s gonna say it was hard, so that’s going to be the headline. The ankle rolling was a bit weird. But he’s wearing ankle boots, so I’m sure it’s not the first time, he said he’s got weak ankles, so I don’t think the fans were conned to be honest. Sometimes we don’t see the best version of a fighter.”
Q: What did Eubank tell you in the changing room after the fight?
George Groves “I wanted to go in and say well done because it was a mega impressive night, so I wanted to go in and tell him that and I knocked on the door, and there’s a new security guard, a big guy. He’s not got a clue who I am. And there’s lots of people waiting outside the door. I did not want to say to him ‘my name’s George Groves, I boxed Chris five years ago, I’m a world champion. I was here last time, do you fancy just letting me in’ so he shut the door on me. So I did some interviews and came back to try again. The door opens again. Same security guy is there and he says ‘no-one’s coming in’. But after a while someone’s someone spotted me. The changing room is mobbed. Sometimes that happens when you win. Eubank was over in the far corner with his sister Emily. I went over and said ‘well done – awesome, amazing, inspiring’. His words to me were. ‘I didn’t have a choice’.”
“He meant we’re fighters. We’ve got to get on with it. This is the world we live in. You suck it up, and you and you go again. And that’s the true sign of boxing resilience, which I think he displayed in abundance Saturday night. Because I thought he was a shot fighter. I thought he was a finished fighter and he didn’t have it anymore. I thought his punch resistance was gone and he could not make the weight anymore, or have the same intensity, or desire – maybe getting blitzed by Liam Smith really zoned him in on what really matters. I think this time around he showed that”.