George Groves produced a dominant display to reach the World Boxing Super Series final after retaining his WBA world super-middleweight title against Chris Eubank Jr.
Groves will meet either Callum Smith or Jurgen Brahmer in the final of the tournament after winning by a unanimous verdict at the Manchester Arena.
Despite coming into the bout as the world champion, the 29-year-old was the underdog with the bookmakers, yet his greater experience proved to be telling.
Massive respect to both boxers tonight, both fought their hearts out tonight…this has tested them both, it was a battle. Tough tough fighters. Huge respect to @ChrisEubankJr Congratulations to tonight's winner @StGeorgeGroves ??#GrovesEubank #FightNight #bossmen
— Frank Bruno MBE (@frankbrunoboxer) February 17, 2018
“He didn’t lie when he said he would grit it out,” Groves told ITV Box Office.
“He didn’t bring pressure because I was hurting him. I dropped him at least once but it didn’t count, which was dubious.”
Groves kept Eubank at arm’s distance with his fast footwork and counter-punching; patiently picking his spots against the challenger.
Eubank was hampered by a cut above the right eye in the third round and was sent tumbling to the floor in the 10th.
We have our first Super-Middleweight finalist: @StGeorgeGroves!!!
— #GrovesEubank (@WBSuperSeries) February 17, 2018
The two fighters both went for broke in a pulsating final round, yet Groves – who dislocated his shoulder in the process – emerged victorious with scores of 117-112, 116-112 and 115-113.
“I thought I did enough in the later rounds to win,” Eubank Jr told ITV Box Office.
“I thought I pressured him the entire fight. I didn’t get hit clean. He cut me, and I couldn’t see.
“Did I underestimate him? Maybe.”