Chris Eubank (left) and George Groves (right) during the WBA Super-Middleweight title fight. Peter Byrne

George Groves suffers suspected dislocated shoulder but successfully defends title against Chris Eubank Jr

The judges scored the fight 117-112, 116-112 and 115-113 for a unanimous decision.

GEORGE GROVES USED his experience and boxing skills to earn a unanimous points decision over Chris Eubank Jr on Saturday.

The World Boxing Association (WBA) world super-middleweight champion made a successful second defence by scores of 117-112, 116-112 and 115-113 over his English rival at the Manchester Arena.

But Groves had to survive a nervous last round after he suffered a suspected dislocated left shoulder and Eubank went hunting for the stoppage.

Victory also sent Groves through to the World Boxing Super Series final in May or June, when he will face either English rival Callum Smith or Germany’s Juergen Braehmer.

Smith and Braehmer meet in the other semi-final of the eight-man competition in Germany on Saturday.

It was Groves’s finest triumph yet and puts his career in a far better state than it was following defeats to Carl Froch – twice – and Badou Jack in previous world title fights.

Eubank did not bring the pressure he promised. “I dropped him at least once but it didn’t count,” Groves said in the ring afterwards.

“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.”

- Underestimated? -

Eubank is yet to come emulate the success of his father – Chris Sr, who was world middleweight and super-middleweight champion in the 1990s – after failing to land enough clean blows.

“I thought I pressured him the entire fight,” said Eubank in the ring afterwards.

“I was always coming forward. He cut me. I couldn’t see out my right eye. A cut is a cut, you have to deal with it.

“Did I underestimate him? Maybe.”

Like Senior did in his prime, Junior vaulted over the top rope into the ring. Senior was there waiting for him and was passing on advice in between rounds.

Despite only stepping up from middleweight a year ago and this being his first world title fight, it was the challenger who was slight favourite with British bookmakers.

But Groves, 29, began the better with single jabs towards the end of the first round had more success in the second with a counter left hand.

Later in the second round, Eubank had his first attack when he drove Groves back into the corner with a series of hooks, but could not land the uppercut cleanly.

Eubank came out swinging wildly in the third round but the 28-year-old finished the round worse for wear after being cut on the right eyebrow during an accidental clash of heads.

The cut did not seem to bother Eubank much in a better fourth round, nailing Groves with a left and hard right.

But blood began streaming down Eubank’s face in the fifth round and the challenger struggled to land any clean shots.

Groves held Eubank when ever he tried to get close to him but the challenger managed to catch him with a right hook on the bell in the seventh.

The eighth was the best round of the fight so far and Groves was caught by a leaping left hook.

Eubank landed another big left, but Groves immediately responded with a heavy right hand.

Eubank landed the bigger shots in the ninth, including a straight right that landed flush with Groves penned against the ropes.

They swapped blows at the end of the ninth round before a savage tenth round saw both look in trouble.

Eubank touched down at one point, but it was not ruled a knockdown.

Eubank looked stunned by a right hand and had to sit on the ropes while his head cleared.

And then there was an astonishing finish as Groves suffered a suspected dislocated left shoulder.

Groves’ left arm hung limp and he was suddenly a one-handed fighter.

Eubank went for the stoppage, unloading furious hooks and one right hand landed flush on Groves’ jaw.

Groves survived the round and had already done enough to get the decision.

© AFP 2018 

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