Chris Eubank Jr has admitted to possibly underestimating George Groves after his World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) semi-final loss on Saturday (17 February).
With the WBA and IBO super-middleweight titles on the line, it was Groves who came out on top as he used his experience to outbox the 28-year-old and get a points victory with the judges favouring him 117-112, 116-112 and 115-113.
It marks the second loss of Eubank Jr's career (26-2) as Groves (28-3) advanced to the final where he will meet either Callum Smith or Jurgen Brahmer who clash next week.
While he thought he should have won on the judges' scorecards, "Next Gen" gave credit to the Hammersmith native before quickly targeting his next opponent in IBF super-middleweight champion Caleb Truax.
"Did I underestimate him? Maybe," Eubank Jr told ITV Box Office after the fight via the Daily Mail. "I thought it was close. I thought I did enough in the later rounds to win.
"All credit to George, this is all part of boxing, you win some, you lose some. Hopefully we can get the rematch. I guess I'm out of the tournament but there's a man called Caleb Truax who has a world title so maybe we can get it on and I can fight the winner of the tournament."
Eubank Sr revealed that he was "stunned" and while he too gave credit to Groves for his performance, he believes his son did not perform and stick to the game plan.
"I am stunned. George boxed beautifully, I can't take anything away from him there," Eubank Sr stated. "Chris didn't use his boxing skill or his jab. I was telling him to take the fight to him, he wasn't using his combinations. The tactics they put together were excellent.
"He didn't perform, he's a lot better than what we saw tonight because he was just loading up. It's a cold, hard truth of it. He's a good fighter but he didn't show it. No combinations, just power. But it's okay, you live and learn. George fought precisely the correct fight... we congratulate him."
As for Groves, he was happy with his performance but did suffer a shaky end to the fight, having suffered a shoulder injury in the last round which might put his WBSS final participation in June at risk.
"I dropped him at least once but it didn't count," Groves said after the fight. "He was strong inside, which we expected, but I'm very happy. I've boxed through broken jaws. I wanted it most.
"The jab was landed correctly all night. When he had success, it was only because I did something wrong."