Groves Deserves Time to Shake off Injury and Take his Place in Super-Series Final
George Groves has had many questions aimed at him down the years, with doubts raised about his mental toughness under pressure and his ability to take a big shot. What’s never been in doubt is his courage, and he showed that in abundance when proving too strong for Chris Eubank Jnr in their World Boxing Super Series semi-final.
Heading into the final round, Groves was ahead on points and on course for victory barring a major setback. A minute into the final round, a setback occurred as his left shoulder popped out of its socket, meaning he had to navigate his way through the final two minutes effectively fighting one handed.
With the winning post in sight, quitting was never an option and it once again highlighted his desire to succeed.
The severity of the problem is not yet known, but it could put his place the final of the competition in doubt.
Callum Smith faces Juergen Braehmer in the second semi-final in Nuremburg at the weekend, and after defending his WBA belt in convincing fashion Groves would have high hopes of beating the winner.
But much will depend on whether he can recover from injury in time. Positive words came from the fighter’s mouth in the immediate aftermath, but the sight of him sat in his dressing room – bottle of water in his right hand and grimacing in pain as the sling holding his left arm was being adjusted – was not a pretty sight.
Time is a healer, and provided there isn’t serious damage, he will be back in the ring to defend his WBA belt at some stage. But Super Series promoter Kalle Sauerland said following Groves’ win over Eubank that there is a cut-off point of June 2 to get the final done.
Groves has suggested there is some wiggle room with the scheduling, and he will use his WBA belt as a bargaining chip.
“I am the only legitimate world champion in this tournament,” Groves said, per the Guardian. “Who wants to watch the WBSS final without me in it? If the dates need to be changed slightly, I am sure they will. If I was them, I would not want to replace me. If they do, then that’s fine. I am not going to box unfit, obviously. There’s definitely room in the summer to readjust, if needs be.”
With neither Smith nor Braehmer currently holding a world title, Groves is right in suggesting the competition would be devalued were it to conclude without the winner picking up a belt.
Groves, Smith and Braehmer have come through a number of rounds to get to this position, knowing that victory in the final would result in a world title being placed over their shoulders.
As such, Groves needs to be given the time required to get back to full fitness to ensure the tournament receives the finale it has been promising.