In the fifth and final part of Adam Booth’s Groves vs. Eubank Jr breakdown, the trainer of world champions comes down from the fence and, though admitting he can make a case for both, finally picks a winner ahead of this Saturday’s (February 17) World Boxing Super Series semi-final.
In part four of Booth’s breakdown, he explained how Chris Eubank Jr’s ‘uncoachability’ could work in the Brighton man’s favour and also touched on how both super-middleweights had improved since their time as sparring partners.
Question: Chris Eubank Jr has moved up in weight for the World Boxing Super Series, whereas George Groves is a solid, long-time super-middleweight. Will that be a factor?
Adam Booth: “Although George is the naturally bigger man, Eubank, physically, is a handful. I don’t think there’s much between them in that department. Eubank is lean, he looks strong at the weight, whereas George has looked a little bit fleshy in recent fights.”
Q: Who wins the battle of the jabs?
AB: “Who’s got the better jab? Groves. Who’s got the better right hand? Groves. It sounds simple when you put it like that. Eubank’s jab isn’t necessarily that good. He throws it out when he instinctively thinks he should. His jab is more instinctive than Groves’. But George is more technically proficient in every department. Basically, what you have is a very technical box-puncher against a very instinctive and genetically-gifted brawler.”
Q: How does George Groves win this fight?
AB: “He needs to prevent it becoming a hard, gruelling fight. He needs it to be a clean, sterile punching exhibition, and he needs to nullify the stuff up close, manhandle Eubank Jr, don’t linger, and just keep using the unpredictable sharp-shooting style, without having any doubts in the second half of the fight. Don’t doubt your legs; don’t doubt your defence. If he does all that, George can win.”
Q: How does Chris Eubank Jr win the fight?
AB: “The first thing he has got to do is nullify that jab. If he can stop that jab finding a home early in the fight, he really has got the upper hand. That’s more than half the battle for him.
“If Junior can impose himself on George and open up the doubts that must be there – they will be there more in George than Junior because Junior hasn’t been broken yet – then it’s Junior’s fight.”
Q: Who wins?
AB: “I can make an equal case for both, I really can, but if I absolutely had to pick one of them I’d go with Eubank and that’s based on one thing: I think it’s a fight he wants and I think it’s a fight Groves has to have. He has no choice. Given the choice, I don’t think he’d take this fight. Junior craves it, though, and that’s going to make him hard to beat. The desire for this fight must play some role.”