The third quarter-final in the super middleweight World Boxing Super Series takes place on Saturday night, as British duo George Groves and Jamie Cox meet in London.
George Groves vs Jamie Cox for the WBA (Super) super middleweight world title.
Where: SSE Arena, Wembley, London, UK
When: Saturday, 14th October, 10pm UK time
TV: ITV Box Office
After claiming his WBA (Super) super middleweight strap in May this year against the tough Fedor Chudinov, George Groves (26–3) is set to make his first defence of his gold in a quarter-final bout of the World Boxing Super Series.
After two Carl Froch blotches on his copybook coupled with a razor-thin loss to Badou Jack in 2015, Groves has put together an impressive run of victories as he looks to dominate at 160lbs. Stopping Andrea Di Luisa, David Brophy and Chudinov as well as out-pointing Martin Murray and Eduard Gutknecht, “The Saint” has solidified his place as the ‘man to beat’ in the race for the Muhammad Ali trophy, with his old foe James DeGale awaiting the victor of the World Boxing Super Series.
His challenger, the unbeaten Jamie Cox (24-0), has slipped under the radar in his ten year professional career, however the Swindon-born southpaw is looking to grab this opportunity with both hands.
Speaking at Friday’s weigh-in, Cox said –
“I am relaxed. I have got my team, my friends, my family and my fans here. I am ready to go, I have trained hard for this… It is obviously my first world title fight and I am ready for the occasion. When I looked into George’s eyes I saw a scared man. I am predicting a great, great win.”
With reigns including the Commonwealth super middleweight champion, WBO European super middleweight champion, and now holding the WBA Continental super middleweight title, Cox is no stranger to this division, nor to the pressure of delivering on the big stage.
Cox’s record may not be littered with the class of opponent that Groves has danced with, however with a clean record and a win-streak of 24, Cox feels it is his time to make the step-up to world level.
Speaking to iFLTV, Cox’s promoter Eddie Hearn expressed his optimism for an upset at Wembley Arena –
“George Groves can be hurt, he does have frailties, and it’s up to Jamie Cox and John Costello to exploit them, and I think he’s got a great chance of doing so”
– George Groves, Jamie Cox and Eddie Hearn at this week’s press conference
On the face of it, this one could boil down to experience. With four world title fights and seven solid years in the public eye, George Groves is a couple of steps ahead of his challenger. Known for skirmishers outside of the ring and a less fluid rise up the super middleweight rankings, Cox will have to embrace the occasion on Saturday night and now allow the event to overwhelm him as he looks to stand toe-to-toe with Groves in the opening exchanges.
Groves is a big super middleweight and with a clear height advantage, “The Saint” will look to take the centre of the ring early and dictate the pace from the off. The champion’s long and sharp jab is one of the best in boxing and if he can find Cox on the end of his left glove in the first few rounds, Groves should settle into a nice rhythm as he looks to dismantle the southpaw.
As demonstrated in his double-header against Carl Froch in 2013-14, Groves can be hurt, but whether Cox has the power to do so is the question for Saturday night. With just 13 of his 24 wins coming inside the distance, Cox may have to adapt the Badou Jack school of thought in defeating Groves, rather than the hell-for-leather destructive style of “The Cobra”.
In previous fights Cox has made no secret in using the head and trying to rough up his opponents in the clinch, however if this tactic is used against the power of Groves, expect “The Saint” to unleash an onslaught of right hooks to the body as Cox is left clueless in how to negate the artillery that the champion possesses.
If this tactic proves to be a success for Cox, then the southpaw will be relying on Groves’ gas-tank to fail him in the later rounds as he looks to pick up rounds in the latter stages of the fight.
This being said, Groves is too experienced and too talented to be phased by the southpaw challenger and considering Cox was hand-picked as an opponent by the champion it’s hard to make a case for the 31-year-old.
Expect Groves to get a mid to late stoppage on Saturday night, setting up a mouth-watering clash with Chris Eubank Jnr early in 2018.
- Groves and Cox go head-to-head ahead of Saturday's fight
John Ryder looks to make a push towards world level at 160lbs in a dangerous fight against Patrick Nielsen, with welterweights Adolphe and Thomas looking to keep their unbeaten records intact.
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