THE World Boxing Super Series super-middleweight final date has finally been announced as George Groves vs Callum Smith will take place on September 28 in the King Abdullah Sports City in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
On taking the final and the Muhammad Ali trophy to Jeddah, Kalle Sauerland, Comosa’s Chief Boxing Officer, said, “The super-middleweight final in Saudi Arabia, where the Muhammad Ali name and legacy is so revered, has all the ingredients to capture the world on a stage not normally associated with boxing.
“Groves vs Smith is an incredible match-up between two proven gladiators, two rivals, it’s certainly a final not to be missed.”
Groves will defend the WBA super-middleweight world title for the third time since winning the strap against Fedor Chudinov in May 2017, while Smith will get his first crack at a world glory.
Smith beat Swede Erik Skoglund in the quarter-finals and was set to meet Jürgen Bräehmer in the next round however due to illness the German pulled out and elite kickboxer Nieky Holzken became the replacement whom “Mundo” defeated on points.
Groves defended his title against countrymen Jamie Cox and Chris Eubank Jnr along the way to booking his place in the final. The Hammersmith man dislocated his shoulder in the final round of the semi-final. It was unclear whether Groves would be fit to compete in this final, which led to rumours of a replacement being lined up however, on May 29 it was announced the WBA champion would be the one to face Callum Smith.
“It is great to finally to get the fight,” Smith said. “It is the one I have wanted for a long time. I am really happy it is going to be Groves rather than anyone else, it is the fight the fans want too.
“The fact that the final of the Ali Trophy is against George and for his title, I am made up. I have been waiting for a world title fight and feel like I have been unlucky at missing out on opportunities, but now I’ve finally got it.”
Although Kalle Sauerland initially insisted the final had to take place by July, to make way for the second WBSS season. The promoter said the change of plans was to accommodate the public demand.
“We have been clear that the tournament has to finish within a certain timeframe, but we also realise that Groves vs Smith is the most ideal final,” he said.
“By pushing the super-middleweight final date back as far as we can, we are giving fans the biggest chance of seeing this incredible match-up.”
Groves comes into the bout win a win over a Smith on his record, as the 30-year-old defeated one of Callum’s older brothers, Paul, in November 2011.
“We know about Smith, we have seen him for a long time and obviously I boxed his brother [Paul],” Groves said.
“We are supremely confident of getting the win and getting a good win. We already have some good sparring lined up, fighters similar to Smith. I am looking forward to getting back to work and winning the Ali Trophy.”