George Groves is fancied to prove a level above fellow Englishman Callum Smith in Friday’s World Boxing Super Series final in Saudi Arabia.
The Londoner suffered a shoulder injury when beating Chris Eubank Jr in his super-middleweight semi but has had plenty of time to recover.
Saint George has built up a rock-solid 28-3 record as a pro, only losing twice to the outstanding Carl Froch and suffering a narrow split decision defeat against Badou Jack in Las Vegas.
The 30-year-old has come through tough domestic dust-ups with James DeGale, Martin Murray and Jamie Cox with flying colours and 18/25 for him to again prove a class apart here is our first Groves vs Smith prediction.
“I feel like I’m in the form of my life, boxing better than ever,” he told Sky Sports. “I don’t see Callum posing a problem for me on fight night.
“Obviously, we’ve got to be on our A-game, but we know how to beat him. We’re getting good stuff off in the gym.
“I’ve got to go out and perform and I know I can. Stick to the game-plan, it will be another comfortable win.”
Groves has stopped 20 of his victims but those knockout losses to Froch have forced him to err on the side of caution in subsequent big fights.
That makes 2/1 for a points win worth adding to our Groves vs Smith betting tips, especially with his dangerous opponent boasting a 24-0 record, with 17 triumphs inside the distance.
Smith taking big step up in class
“He’s been there and done it and you’ve got to respect him for that,” Liverpudlian Smith told Sky Sports.
“But I also think the great career he’s had has a downside. He’s put a lot of miles on the clock and had a very tough career for a 30-year-old.
“His chin was also always suspect, even when he started off as a pro. Everyone said his chin was suspect, he’d been knocked out in the amateurs and early in his career.
“I’ve still got to land and I’ve still got to get rid of him, but if I do land, I do feel he’s there for the taking. I feel now it’s my time to do it.”
The 28-year-old hails from a famous boxing family, was a Commonwealth silver medallist as an amateur and has held British and European titles in the paid ranks.
His November 2015 win over Rocky Fielding was recently franked by that Merseyside rival claiming the WBA super-middleweight belt in Germany.
However, we still feel Smith, nicknamed Mundo, has it all to prove at elite level, especially against such a reliable yardstick as Groves.
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