IN part two of Adam Booth’s Groves vs. Eubank Jr breakdown, the pair’s former trainer looks at the problems the two super-middleweights will have to overcome on Saturday (February 17) if they are to advance to the final of the World Boxing Super Series.
Question: Is George Groves a tougher opponent for Chris Eubank Jr than Billy Joe Saunders was in 2014?
Adam Booth: “Groves is more dangerous but less tricky. Billy Joe is not as easy to get to as George. Once George stops punching, he’s not difficult to get to, whereas Billy Joe is difficult to get to whether he’s punching or not punching.
“For Eubank Jr, the Billy Joe Saunders loss doesn’t look so bad now because of what Billy Joe has gone on to do. Also, I’ve been around Billy Joe. I’ve seen him spar Groves and he gave Groves nightmares. I know what Billy Joe is about. Given Eubank’s lack of experience in the amateurs, he did well to make the Saunders fight as close as it was.”
Q: Is Eubank Jr the toughest fight, stylistically, for Groves?
AB: “In terms of difficulty, Eubank is tougher than anyone Groves has boxed. If he can’t keep Eubank on the end of that long jab, the fight is incredibly hard for Groves and Eubank will be the hardest opponent he has fought.
“A lot depends on whether Groves can control the distance and whether he’s emotionally and technically competent enough when he can’t control the distance. But they are both wrong for each other. Eubank is potentially going to be hit harder than he ever has been hit. I don’t think George will be hit harder than he ever has been hit, but, if he allows Eubank to claim that space, he will certainly be hit more than he’s ever been hit.”
Part 3 of Adam Booth’s Groves vs. Eubank Jr breakdown will be published online tomorrow, while the full interview can be read in this week’s magazine (digital: February 13, print: February 15).