George Groves and Chris Eubank Jr will put their respective WBA (Super) and IBO super-middleweight world titles on the line on Saturday night (17 February) as they collide in an eagerly-anticipated all-British contest at the Manchester Arena.
The fight also serves as the first semi-final in the super-middleweight division of the inaugural World Boxing Super Series, with the winner set to meet either Liverpool's Callum Smith or Jurgen Brahmer at the O2 Arena in early June in the hope of claiming both a hefty chunk of the $50m prize fund and the Muhammad Ali Trophy.
How to watch
As with every fight in the World Boxing Super Series to date, Groves vs Eubank Jr will be screened live on ITV Box Office and can be purchased for £16.95/€19.95, with coverage set to begin at 19.00 GMT.
Following emphatic quarter-final victories over Jamie Cox and Avni Yildirim and a lengthy, often ugly war of words played out in the press, former sparring partners Groves and Eubank Jr are ready to settle their differences.
Groves is a seasoned campaigner at this level and will boast an obvious advantage in experience despite being just one year Eubank Jr's senior, losing twice to Carl Froch and once in Las Vegas to Badou Jack before again dusting himself off and finally becoming a world champion last May with a sixth-round stoppage of Russian Fedor Chudinov on the undercard of Kell Brook vs Errol Spence Jr.
The supremely confident Eubank Jr, meanwhile, has acknowledged that this is his biggest fight to date and believes a victory can help him to "come out of his shadow" and separate from the legacy of his famous father.
The 28-year-old claimed his more-maligned title with a 10th-round victory over Australian Renold Quinlan in February 2017 having made the move up from middleweight, where he suffered the only loss of his 27-fight professional career to date against nemesis Billy Joe Saunders before becoming WBA interim and then British champion.
[Credit - Genting Bet]
What they've said
George Groves: [via Sky Sports]: "He's flapping already, referring back to sparring. He is a cliché, he is a gimmick. I've been here, I've done this many, many times. This is just another step along my journey.
"I'm in great shape. I'm ready to do a proper number on him on Saturday night. I'm the legitimate world champion sitting at this table. I'm the No 1 seed in this tournament, and I will go on to win this tournament."
Chris Eubank Jr [via Sky Sports]: "You've called me a 'gimmick' and 'Insta-famous' and you are obsessed with this whole - trying to get across to the public that I'm not real. I think it's plain to see that is ludicrous, and if anything I think you would love to be me. You would love to be in my position, you would love to have the Instagram followers and the style.
"You are even wearing the same suit that I wore when we had our first face-off, hyping the fight. I think you are jealous, George. You are in big trouble my friend."
Groves: 30 fights, 27 wins (20 knockouts)
- (W) Jamie Cox - knockout - October 2017
- (W) Fedor Chudinov - technical knockout - May 2017
- (W) Eduard Gutknecht - unanimous decision - November 2016
Eubank Jr: 27 fights, 26 wins (20 knockouts)
- (W) Avni Yildirim - knockout - October 2017
- (W) Arthur Abraham - unanimous decision - July 2017
- (W) Renold Quinlan - technical knockout - February 2017
Groves is the bigger, more technically astute fighter and certainly packs a punch - as former rival Froch can attest. He will look to utilise his greater experience of the grand occasion and that proficient, powerful jab to keep his fearless opponent at bay.
It is extremely doubtful that Eubank Jr possesses the necessary power to secure a stoppage against such a sizable super-middleweight, though he certainly has the mesmerising speed to rattle off his punches in sharp bursts and avoid getting tagged with many big shots.
Slight favourite Eubank Jr to claim the most important win of his career on points in an intriguing clash of styles, provided he stays smart.
Odds (via Sky Bet)
George Groves 11/8
Chris Eubank Jr 4/6
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