Action Images/Andrew Couldridge
GEORGE GROVES will see a specialist having dislocated his shoulder in the win over Chris Eubank Jr, but remains adamant he will feature in the World Boxing Super Seriesfinal.
Groves successfully defended his WBA world super middleweight title, while also taking Eubank Jr’s IBO belt, on points at the Manchester Arena on Saturday.
The victor was tactically superior throughout the all-British bout, yet his shoulder popped out of its socket early in the last round, meaning Groves had to fend off a late Eubank Jr onslaught in their semi-final.
Groves went to hospital after the contest and there is concern that the damage could prevent him from participating in a final, against either Callum Smith or Jurgen Brahmer, that is scheduled for June 2.
“The shoulder’s okay,” Groves told iFL TV on Sunday. “I hope it was clear that it popped out in the 12th round. It went a bit skew-whiff at that point. (It was) probably one of the most painful injuries I’ve had.
“It’s back in now. (I) had some x-rays, going to go and see a specialist either later today or tomorrow.
“I’m confident that hopefully it’s not going to be something that’s a big problem.
“I think it’s only a really big problem if you damage the bone. The x-ray didn’t show any of that. I can’t hide the fact I got a dislocated shoulder, but hopefully I’ll be okay.”
Nevertheless, with the final pencilled in for a date less than four months away, the damage Groves sustained casts his availability into doubt.
Promoter Kalle Sauerland was reluctant to discuss a cut-off point if Groves is not ready by early June, even leaving the door ajar on Eubank Jr possibly replacing him, but Groves knows he is now the main attraction.
“It’s impossible to answer at the moment,” Groves added of being able to fight in June.
“June 2 isn’t that far away – in terms of a 12-week camp it’s 14, 15 weeks away. We will seek advice from the specialists, find out how long it’s going to take before I can get back punching.
“It doesn’t take me long to get fit, I’m sharp, this tournament has kept me focused. I broke my jaw in May and was boxing in October.
“I always heal quick. I’ve been a good healer. I live a good, clean life, I think that helps.
“I’m the WBA champion, the number-one seed, I’ve just been involved in a massive, massive pay-per-view event for the World Boxing Super Series. It wouldn’t be the same if I wasn’t in the final so if they have to move the dates for it, so be it.
“Kalle Sauerland will be desperate to have me in the final, as will everyone else in the World Boxing Super Series, why would they not? Who else are they going to replace me with?
“We’ll make it happen but I’ve got to be fully fit to box, whenever that time comes around.
“I don’t think these dates are set in stone. We’ve got the whole summer to get this over the line.
“We’ve got the next semi-final next weekend. People want to know who I’m fighting next, not who is going to make up a sub in the final, I guarantee you.
“I’ll be in the final, I just can’t guarantee the date yet.”