Chris Eubank Jr says George Groves still carries mental scars from knockout by Carl Froch at Wembley
By Richard Damerell
Last Updated: 29/11/17 2:36pm
Chris Eubank Jr believes George Groves is mentally weaker following his Wembley loss to Carl Froch and plans to expose these "vulnerabilities" in their world title fight.
The super-middleweight duo will meet in the semi-finals of the World Boxing Super Series in Manchester on February 17, with Groves defending his WBA 'super' title.
Eubank Jr sparred with Froch before his second fight with Groves, which ended in a dramatic knockout victory for 'The Cobra', and the 28-year-old says his opponent still carries mental scars from that night in 2014.
"I think physically he's the same guy, not mentally. That [Froch defeat] took something out of him," Eubank Jr exclusively told Sky Sports.
"He's a strong dude. They are both strong and all it takes is one hit. It's whether you can hold that hit. Froch can hold a hit.
"Groves put him down [in the first fight], he got back up. Groves, his chin is susceptible to punishment, and punishment is exactly what he is going to receive on February 17."
Groves has given credit to trainer Shane McGuigan for overseeing a successful spell in his career, including his WBA title triumph over Fedor Chudinov in May.
In contrast, Eubank Jr has openly stated he does not need advice in his corner when a fight starts, and points at this praise from Groves as proof that he is reliant on McGuigan.
Eubank Jr said: "He's said he needs it. He said himself: 'I'm relying on a guy I've known for a year or a year and-a-half to prepare me for the biggest fight of my career.' It's the wrong language."
I know who he is as a fighter and I know who he is as a man. I know his mind set is vulnerable and I'll exploit those vulnerabilities in the fight.
Chris Eubank Jr
"Of course. It doesn't suggest it, it confirms it," said Eubank, when asked if Groves was showing more signs of mental fragility.
"I know who he is. I know who he is as a fighter and I know who he is as a man.
"I know his mind set is vulnerable and I'll exploit those vulnerabilities in the fight."
James DeGale decided to undergo shoulder surgery instead of entering the competition, and is tipping Groves to emerge victorious from this British battle.
Eubank Jr has a long-running feud with DeGale, stemming from differing accounts of their own sparring sessions, and is confident that he will eventually cross paths with the IBF champion.
DeGale tips Groves to defeat Eubank Jr
James DeGale wants George Groves to beat Chris Eubank Jr and set up 2018 unification rematch
"He has to fit into my plans," said Eubank Jr. "One, because he has a world title in the weight division I'm in.
"Two, because we have a legitimate rivalry. We clash, to put it lightly.
"Three, the fans have been asking for that fight for years, it has to happen."