BRITAIN’S George Groves is in Super Middleweight action this weekend against Badou Jack. Iwan Evans (@IwanEvans19) gives us his best bet.
Badou Jack v George Groves | Sunday 03:00 | Box Nation
Britain’s George Groves (21-2, 16 KO’s) is finally handed a long awaited shot at the WBC Super Middleweight title, as he takes on Mayweather Promotions boxer Badou Jack (19-1-1, 12 KO’s) in chief support to Mayweather’s fight with Andre Berto.
Jack produced a big upset to get the better of Anthony Dirrell in April, a fight nobody gave him a shot in, but in his first real test, I’m expecting him to fall short.
The clash with Flint, Michigan’s Dirrell, turned out to be a very poor affair, with very little action produced, but the Swedish born Super Middleweight did just enough over the 12 rounds, claiming a Majority Decision verdict. Here he faces his long time mandatory challenger, who has fought at a considerably higher level over the last few years.
Badou was a decent amateur, qualifying for the 2008 Olympics, and reportedly finishing with a solid record of 150-25, but he always seemed to lose the big ones in the unpaid ranks, and never made a big impact in the Major championships.
In February 2014 his career suffered a huge setback as he was stopped in the first round by decent journeyman Derek Edwards, and that has raised massive questions over his chin. In September 2013 he was also held to a draw by Marco Antonio Periban, who has since been stopped in three rounds by Britain’s James DeGale, which all in all raises significant doubt over Jack being at world title level.
Boxing fans in the UK will know Groves for those two huge fights he had with Carl Froch, the first contest showing his quality as he put Carl down in the first round with a huge right hand, only for Froch to respond in more clinical fashion, landing the punch of his career in that massive Wembley showdown in May 2014.
George has been quiet since then, it’s taken time for him to step away from the publicity generated by that showdown, and in the two subsequent fights he’s had, he hasn’t looked on top of his game, beating the tough Frenchman Chris Rebrasse over 12 rounds, and then stopping little known American Denis Douglin in seven rounds back in November.
It should be noted however that Groves holds impressive wins over long time rival James DeGale (MD12), and has stopped Paul Smith (TKO2) earlier than the likes of Arthur Abraham, Andre Ward, and his former amateur rival, who is the current IBF Super Middleweight champion.
George can also boast of previous US experience as well, having twice fought Stateside, therefore this is far from a trip to the unknown for him.
I think we could well see a return to form for “The Saint” here though, he’s a boxer I’ve long admired, and I think the combination of speed and power which he has, could prove very difficult for Jack to deal with.
There are rumours that Badou is really struggling making the weight for this clash at 167lbs, and if you add that to the mix, the Las Vegas based Swede could prove to be very vulnerable.
Jack will obviously be more confident going into this clash – he is the champion after all, but Groves has had a great camp helping Gennady Golovkin in Big Bear, California, for this fight, and has been looking very good in sparring.
There’s plenty of good vibes about the Brit’s chances, and with big doubts over the champion’s chin, I’m really liking the odds of a stoppage victory for Groves. Coral go best odds of 6/4, and that’s a price I’m more than willing to back.
Badou Jack v George Groves – Groves by KO, TKO or Disqualification (6/4 Coral)