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Groves proved he's still got plenty left in the tank at world level and, for the most part, it was a disciplined and skilled performance.
Back to the drawing board for Eubank Jr. Excellent fitness and toughness but his punching was limited, and his game-plan was basic.
"I thought I did enough in the later rounds to win.
I thought I pressured him the entire fight. I didn't get hit clean. He cut me, and I couldn't see.
"Did I underestimate him? Maybe."
Chris Eubank Jr, via ITV Box Office
"He didn't lie when he said he would grit it out. He didn't bring pressure because I was hurting him.
"I dropped him at least once but it didn't count, which was dubious."
George Groves, via ITV Box Office
Groves and Eubank Jr (and Eubank Sr) are sportsmanlike after the verdict.
Groves' shoulder is in a sling.
Eubank Jr doesn't look like he disagrees with the verdict.
GROVES WINS UNANIMOUS DECISION
All three judges in favour of George Groves - scorecards say 117-112, 116-112 and 115-113.
Groves, and his team, are holding his shoulder. It looks injured.
We await the decision, with both fighters confident they've won...
MACKLIN SCORES IT
The frenetic final round Groves in trouble
Eubank Jr's swings are more wild, and more inaccurate, than ever. He's desperate for a KO but, after one miss, Groves begins showboating.
Groves is defending with his hands down, at times. A sensational scrap breaks out in the last 45 seconds, with most men absorbing huge shots. Groves is wobbly, dramatically, with 10 seconds left!
We go to a decision...
The penultimate one is handed to to Eubank Jr
Eubank Jr's leaping left hook has essentially become his only weapon because when he's inside, Groves is totally nullifying him.
Groves leathers Eubank Jr with a right hand, and Eubank Jr's hands drop. He's badly hurt but still standing.
The No 1 seed surely has it in the bag now?
Eubank Jr lands a leaping left hook immediately, stinging Groves.
Eubank Jr is thrown to the floor by Groves. Eubank Jr then hits the floor again, but the ref rules it was NOT a knock-down. He tripped, it seems.
An untidy round, Eubank Jr actually looks the more tired. A Groves round.
Groves given the edge
SKY BET ODDS
George Groves is odds-on at 4/9 with Sky Bet to win this fight. Eubank Jr is the 2/1 outsider and the draw is out at 10/1.
Sky Bet's live Eubank Jr v Groves Price Boosts...
Eubank Jr is upping the ante, and crowding Groves in the first 30 seconds.
Eubank Jr might have absorbed a big shot as he piled in, but it hasn't stopped his aggression. He's fighting like he knows he's losing on the scorecards.
Or is at least impressed with that one!
Stunning exchange at the end of the round - Eubank Jr stings Groves, then a Groves shot has Eubank Jr on unsteady legs.
Previously, two Eubank Jr swings were miles off the target.
Likely a Groves round but Eubank Jr drew him into a brawl towards the end.
Another one goes Groves' way
Eubank Jr is now often able to get inside, but Groves is making him miss. Eubank Jr has success with a leaping left hook on two occasions.
Eubank Jr stumbles and Groves claims it was a knock-down - but it was not.
Eubank Jr gets a share of the sixth
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Tetchy moment as Eubank Jr's head goes under the top rope, after he barrelled into Groves. The ref scolds Groves for shoving.
Eubank Jr is finally getting inside, and throwing punches in flurries. Some of his shots are wild, but he's throwing far more than Groves.
Close but the WBA world champion given another one
Eubank Jr lunges in with big hooks but doesn't land. A tighter left hook from Eubank Jr does find the target.
A worry for Eubank Jr is that Groves is stifling his inside-work.
Nothing in that round, maybe Eubank Jr's due to his work-rate.
Ringside view and Groves takes another...
Groves catches Eubank Jr with a right hand as he darts in. Eubank Jr looks void of ideas in this round - he's just following Groves around, unable to do much damage.
Eubank Jr's best moment comes in the last 10 seconds so maybe the judges will give him this round, on that basis.
EUBANK JR CUT
Replays prove the cut over his right eye, which looks ugly, was caused by an accidental head-clash.
A hat-trick of rounds to Groves...
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Suddenly a brawl erupts - Eubank Jr swings vicious overhands, his best moment so far.
But Eubank Jr is cut over his right eye - but more worryingly than that, he's struggling to get inside Groves' reach.
Groves had the better of that round.
Gives the second to Groves too
WAS IT A KNOCKDOWN?
Replays show Eubank Jr took a punch in the second round, leading him to dramatically dip, and it was difficult to see if his glove touched the floor. Could prove controversial.
Eubank Sr was in his son's corner, by the way, dishing out instructions.
Eubank Jr backs off Groves, who was desperate to throw a big right hand. Interesting. Groves far more aggressive so far.
Eubank Jr dips so low, it briefly seemed like his glove touched the floor, but it didn't. Eubank Jr then flurries with Groves stuck in the corner.
Close round, probably Groves'.
Groves' jab flicks out and finds a target three times inside a minute. Eubank Jr hasn't found a way inside Groves' reach yet.
A Eubank Jr overhand right doesn't land properly but is a warning. He then lands his own jab, but then stumbles over his feet.
Groves' round, you'd think.
Each man focused, staring across the ring at each other, with God Save The Queen ringing around the arena.
Each fighter is on a stage, at opposite sides of the ring, with the MC bellowing "The Muhammad Ali trophy!"
TALE OF THE TAPE
Eubank Jr weighed in slightly heavier yesterday but the size should be on Groves' side tonight. We will find out...
And here's the WBA champion with an excellent Rolling Stones tune introducing him, before a Prodigy song takes over.
Shane McGuigan, his trainer, whispering last-minute advice before they walk.
EUBANK JR RING-WALK
Here comes the challenger to the WBA title, to the famous sounds of Dr. Dre, with the Union Jack draped over him.
Eubank Sr closely follows.
The Manchester Arena is heaving and the atmosphere is crackling. The super-middleweight rivals will be walking in soon.
OUT AND ABOUT?If you want to watch the big one, you might still have time if you can find a Sky Sports venue showing it.
Go to: pubfinder.sky.com/
GROVES v EUBANK JR BETTING
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Here's the third man they're all talking about - Chris Eubank Sr - delivering his verdict for tonight's fight.
EUBANK JR HEAVIER
Much has been made of Eubank Jr not being a natural super-middle, but he was heavier at Friday's weigh-in.
Will he be heavier tonight inside the ring, though?
Tony Bellew: "A good big man always beats a good little man and we know Eubank's style and how to beat him. Groves on points in a thriller."
UNDERCARD IS DONE!
It's already been a bust night before the big one gets underway.
Ryan Walsh and Isaac Lowe couldn't be split after 12 bruising rounds, so the champ holds on to his Britsh featherweight title.
Tommy Langford beat Jack Arnfield on points to remain British middelweight champion...
Unbeaten London cruiserweight Mikael Lawal made it 6-0 with a points win over Adam Williams and fellow cruiser Simon Vallily proved too good for Blase Mendouo.
And none other than Sebastian Eubank won his pro debut over Kamil Kulczyk.
Conor Benn: "I am going for Groves, but it will have to be a knockout inside the first six rounds. If it goes past that, I can only see Eubank Jr on points."
Callum Smith fights Juergen Braehmer in the other semi-final, and he expects to meet Groves in the final.
"It really is a hard one to pick a winner. Probably I would lean towards Groves."
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