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George Groves-Callum Smith press conference quotes

Englishmen Callum Smith (R) and Georges Groves pose together earlier this year. Photo by Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty Images
Fighters Network

There’s no animosity, but the tension is building.

British super middleweights George Groves and Callum Smith met the press at the Landmark Hotel in London on Friday to discuss their clash which takes place on Friday, Sept. 28 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Groves, who is rated No. 1 by The Ring at 168 pounds, will be defending his WBA title in the final of the World Boxing Super Series. Also at stake will be the vacant Ring championship and the winner will be presented with the Muhammad Ali trophy.

On his way to the final, Groves, known as the “Saint”, stopped Jamie Cox in October before outpointing Chris Eubank Jr. in February. The London native dislocated his left shoulder in the final round of his victory over Eubank but has been deemed fit to fight.

“The shoulder’s good and it’s better than ever,” said Groves (28-3, 20 knockouts). “I’ve got a lot of experience and it was just concentration (that got me through). It was new territory, but it made for a lively ending and gave Chris the only chance he had to land something – obviously he didn’t manage it.

“I think (Callum Smith) will be the toughest test yet, but it’s nowhere near a step too far. I’m in the form of my life and I’m boxing better than ever. I don’t see Callum giving me any trouble and if we go out and stick to the game plan then we’ll win the fight.”

The unbeaten Smith, who is rated No. 3 by The Ring, scored a unanimous decision over Erik Skoglund in September before outpointing late replacement Nieky Holzken in February. It has been a long road to a world title fight for the Liverpool-born boxer-puncher who has claimed British and European titles at super middleweight.

“I’m in a good place and training is going really well,” said Smith (24-0, 17 KOs. “It’s been a long time coming, but I’m finally here. A fight with George has been discussed for a long time and it’s a fight I’m confident of winning.

“You have to raise your game in a world title fight. I’m expecting the toughest fight of my career and I’m training for that. I feel that I’m a better fighter than anyone he’s faced previously, especially in this tournament. Whoever gets the game plan right will come out on top and I fully believe that will be me.”


Tom Gray is Associate Editor for Ring Magazine. Follow him on Twitter: @Tom_Gray_Boxing


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