Jeddah: George Groves said he “can’t wait to collect more belts” at the news conference ahead of Friday’s World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) super-middleweight final against Callum Smith in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
The 30-year-old Englishman already holds the WBA and The Ring belts at super-middleweight, but could add the Muhammad Ali Trophy and pick up £7 million for winning the WBSS final, as well as assuming the WBC Diamond belt.
This tournament [the WBSS] is only in its first year but everyone is extremely excited and it’s going to be very prestigious to be associated with.”
- George Groves | Boxer
This fight was meant to be held in Jeddah in July but was put off to allow Groves more time to recover from a shoulder injury sustained during his WBSS semi-final win over Chris Eubank Junior in Manchester in February.
“It’s great to finally be a day or two away from the fight,” he said. “We had a great camp in the end and though it took a long time to get back to full fitness, everything has gone as good as it possibly could.
“I’m ready to fight after such a long training camp and such a long time out, now I can’t wait to come out and collect more belts and new trophy to become champion of the Ali Trophy.”
Groves had already said this fight would be the pinnacle of his career, but he reiterated that fact on Wednesday.
“I’ve been in some real big fights as a professional, numerous world title fights, I recently became WBA champion and No. 1 in my division, I now have the Ring Magazine belt, but could win the WBC Diamond Championship and the Ali Trophy as well.
“This tournament [the WBSS] is only in its first year but everyone is extremely excited and it’s going to be very prestigious not just to win but to be associated with. I just got to make sure I win it now and stake a claim as the number one. I believe it will be the pinnacle of my career so far.”
Challenger Smith, a fellow Brit, who is two years Groves’ junior and coming into his first shot at a world title, said he was ready to take his chance.
“This is a massive opportunity,” he said. “Every fighter starts boxing to become a world champion and fight for a world title. When I turned pro I was no different. I believe I have the abilities to take me to the very top and on Friday night I get the chance to be there.
“A lot is at stake but that’s why I turned pro, for fights like this. I feel good, I feel strong and ready to come here and do what I came here to do, which is become a world champion. It will take a big performance but world championships don’t come easy and people don’t just give them away. You have to earn them and I understand that.”
Tale of the tape
George Groves — Callum Smith
28 wins 24
3 losses 0
20 KOs 17
0 draws 0
31 total bouts 24
65% KO per cent 71%
5’11” Height 6’3”
72” Reach 78”
Orthodox Stance Orthodox
British Nationality British
30 Age 28