George Groves and Callum Smith will lock horns in the Saudi Arabian coastal city of Jeddah in the World Boxing Super Series super-middleweight final on September 28.
<p>Groves is putting his WBA world title on the line for the third time and he is the narrow favourite to secure victory in this all-British bout. He defied the odds to earn a points victory over Chris Eubank Jr in the semi-finals and he is now the world’s top-ranked super-middleweight by BoxRec, The Ring and the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board. But Smith will provide a stern challenge as he remains unbeaten in 24 fights and is a fine athlete.</p><p>“The fight has all the ingredients to capture the world on a stage not normally associated with boxing,” said tournament organiser Kalle Sauerland on the unusual decision to take the fight to Saudi Arabia. He called it "an incredible match-up” between “two proven gladiators” and insisted the fight is “a final not to be missed”. The bookmakers are certainly anticipating a tight clash. <a href="https://a.bookmakersreview.com/record/v?c=141&a=e605009c-af6d-4596-a06f-dbd28d37b12f&f=2">Bet365</a> makes Groves the 8/11 favourite, while Smith is 11/10. Most of the action is going on Groves, despite the lower odds, and he deserves his status as favourite. But Smith is full of confidence ahead of the fight and he believes it is his time to shine.</p><p>If he can pull it off, he will become the second of four boxing brothers to seize a world title, following Liam. “I believe I will do it,” said the Merseyside fighter. “I am excited to be part of such a big night of boxing.” He was the second seeded fighter, behind only Groves, in this tournament, and he has thus far delivered on his promise. He dropped Swedish contender Erik Skoglund en route to a comfortable points victory in the quarter-finals, and then he beat Nicky Holzken in another unanimous decision in the semis.</p><p>Smith is not the most ferocious puncher, but he is a strong tactician, he gets the basics right and he is hungry for success. “He’s a world champion and he’s got what I want,” said Smith. “I’ve got the utmost respect for him. But I don’t fear him. I know he’s got very good strengths but I feel he’s got massive vulnerabilities as well. I’ll bring my own ability and my own strengths. My style’s all wrong for him. He’ll tell you the same, vice versa. That’s what makes it a good fight.”</p><p>Yet it is hard to overlook how much more experienced Groves is. He went into his semi-final against Eubank as the underdog, and he made an absolute mockery of that by battering the younger fighter. He has tangled with the biggest names in the division, from Carl Froch and Badou Jack to James De Gale and Fedor Chudinov. It has not always worked out, but he has learned from his mistakes, claimed some impressive scalps and been rewarded with a world title. This will be his seventh title fight, whereas it is Smith’s first.</p><p>The fight was initially slated for July, but it had to be rescheduled for September as Groves was injured. But he claims he is now fighting fit and ready to prove why he deserves to remain the champion. “I have been in camp for a while already but am now looking forward to stepping the training up now that the dates been set,” he said. “Smith is a good fighter but I believe I am the best super-middleweight on the planet.” He is now a mature, calculated fighter and he has the weapons to get the better of Smith in Jeddah, so that 8/11 looks like a good bet.</p>