Callum Smith would wait until August or September for WBSS final against George Groves
By Richard Damerell
Last Updated: 22/05/18 1:08pm
Callum Smith has suggested his World Boxing Super Series final with George Groves could be pushed back to August or September and is willing to wait for the WBA champion.
The Liverpudlian is yet to learn a date and opponent, despite the expiry of a 10-day deadline for Groves to prove his fitness after he dislocated his shoulder in his semi-final points win over Chris Eubank Jr in February.
Kalle Sauerland, Comosa's Chief Boxing Officer, had confirmed that Eubank Jr was being considered as a replacement, but Smith believes the concluding bout of the super-middleweight tournament could be delayed even further to allow Groves to compete.
"I was told June 2, then I was told June 29, and I was hearing if Groves wasn't ready, it was going to be Eubank Jr," Smith exclusively told Sky Sports.
"I'm hearing now maybe there is a chance it could go back to August-September. I'm in training and I've got to expect the unexpected. If they turn around and say it's Groves or Eubank Jr on June 29, then I've got to go with that date.
I've said I would rather wait and fight Groves. He's got the world title, which is what I entered the tournament for
"It was all over social media that Eubank Jr was stepping in, it was official and stuff, and it was never official. Nothing had been confirmed to us. Then I was hearing maybe there's a chance they could put it back for Groves, which is what I want.
"I've said I would rather wait and fight Groves. He's got the world title, which is what I entered the tournament for. It's what I've wanted since turning pro and it seems to be running away from me. I will catch it someday. I feel like I would get more credit, more reward, more everything for beating George Groves, then I would Chris Eubank Jr."
Smith has already been forced to contend with a change of opponent, beating late stand-in Nieky Holzken on points in the semi-final, and wants to test himself at world title level against No 1 seed Groves.
"I would rather wait one, two, three months to fight George Groves," said the unbeaten 28-year-old.
"He is the main reason I entered this tournament. There's a lot of other reasons, but the main reason was to win a world title.
"I feel like I'm at that stage in my career now, where to beat anyone other than a world champion, I wouldn't really get any credit for it.
"I feel I'm ready to fight one of the champions, and Groves was the champion in this tournament. I had a feeling he would be in the other side of the final, providing I got there, and I picked him to beat Eubank Jr.
"I've said for a while now, I believe I've got the beating of him and I just need the chance to prove it. Such is my luck, he's injured, and there's doubts over it, but I would rather wait and fight him, than fight another stand-in."
Even after losing to Groves on unanimous decision, Eubank Jr has remained in contention, and Smith recognises his value as a high profile opponent, although doubts whether he deserves to fight for the Muhammad Ali trophy in the competition finale.
"It depends on what grounds does he deserve to walk right back into another big fight, with big purses and stuff," said Smith.
"No, not really. Not many boxers do. If they lose, they go down, and probably need another good win to put them back in the mix, but if they say they want to use someone who has already been in the tournament, then he's probably the best name out of them, and the name that sells the best.
"Maybe Eubank sells more than any other fighter who has been in the tournament, so I understand where they are coming from, that part of it.
"If it's going on those grounds, you have to use someone previously, then he probably does deserve it. But in terms of going into a final, having already lost in a semi-final, then no he doesn't."
Watch Jamie McDonnell, in Tokyo, on Friday, May 25, from 1pm, live on Sky Sports Action before Kal Yafai takes on David Carmona in the early hours of Sunday morning, from 2.30am, on Sky Sports Action.