THE World Boxing Super Series tournament has set up a range of high calibre semi-finals. They will all take place within the first two months of 2018, with George Groves vs Chris Eubank Jr the highlight.
WBA super-middleweight world champion George Groves will meet Chris Eubank Jr in either London or Manchester. This fight will take place in February.
There are quality boxing venues in those cities, the O2 in Greenwich and the Manchester arena which seat about 20,000. But there had been hopes that this fight would take place in an open air stadium. That however is problematic for the time of year.
Callum Smith fights Juergen Braehmer in the other super-middleweight semi-final. This could take place before or after Groves-Eubank, though not earlier than January 27. That decision on the timing depends on whether it will also be broadcast on ITV Box Office pay-per-view. Smith-Braehmer could be headed to Berlin.
“We’ve got a few options. The issue is putting them in the right order,” Kalle Sauerland, the Chief Boxing Officer for the World Boxing Super Series, told Boxing News. “Eubank-Groves Manchester or London, Smith-Braehmer likely for Berlin. I can’t see that both semis will be in the north of England if one’s in Manchester.”
“There’s the football stadium idea but it’s really tricky in the season. It really is tricky in the season,” he explained. “I think certain people will moan and groan, people will be excited about it but ultimately everyone will still go. It’s one of those ones.”
All the semi-finals, for both cruiserweight and super-middleweight, will however take place at some point between January 13 and February 24.
At cruiserweight Oleksandr Usyk fights Mairis Briedis in a WBO and WBC world title unification. That could take place in Riga, Kiev or Chicago. For the IBF and WBA titles Yunier Dorticos boxes Murat Gassiev, either in Miami or Russia.
Sauerland confirmed, “The dates are everything between January 13 and the last weekend of February. We’re looking at every single weekend at the moment. The only one we’re not looking at is January 6. The super-mids the earliest will be last weekend of January. Eubank-Groves definitely in February.”