George Groves Vs Badou Jack – Preview and Prediction

George Groves looks to become a world champion at the third attempt and will trade Wembley Stadium for the bright lights of Las Vegas as the main feature on the Floyd Mayweather v Andre Berto undercard.

He will face Mayweather promotions fighter Badou Jack, who will be making the first defence of his WBC super middleweight title since taking it from Anthony Dirrell by majority decision back in April of this year.

Jack a Swedish/Gambian boxer represented Gambia in the 2008 Olympics, and as the only athlete representing the country at that Olympics was the country’s flag bearer in the opening ceremony, so should be familiar with big ring walks. Jack turned professional a year later in 2009.

Groves had an accomplished amateur career winning senior ABA titles before turning professional in 2008, he amassed a record of 12-0-0 before meeting domestic rival, Olympic Gold Medallist James Degale in 2011. As the  underdog Groves would defeat DeGale by majority decision which would propel his career, only 6 more wins and Groves faced Carl Froch in 2013 in his first world title shot.

On November 23 2013 Groves met Carl Froch for the first time and stunned the Manchester Arena when he dropped Froch in the 1st round, however despite the knockdown and dominating the early rounds, as the fight grew, so did Carl Froch, and as Froch rallied late in the 9th referee Howard Foster controversially stopped the bout, giving Froch a TKO victory.

It would pave way for one of the biggest boxing events in British history as the rematch in May 2014 would sell out 80,000 at Wembley Stadium. This time there was no doubt as Froch connected with the perfect right hand, knocking Groves out in the 8th round.

Since then Groves has fought twice and hasn’t looked quite as sharp as pre Froch, but that is probably understandable giving the magnitude of the two defeats, Groves has had 10 months out of the ring to reinvigorate himself, if he can re-capture the Groves that entered the ring against Froch in 2013, Jack will be in a lot of trouble this weekend.

Jack however is a good solid boxer that can present problems for Groves, he has a good solid jab and throws some nice counters, he also brings some smart educated pressure if he is allowed to dictate too much. However there are some defensive flaws for Groves to exploit with his quick athletic reflexes, Jack tends to lunge in and open himself up which could be perfect for Groves to land Froch 1, round 1 esque counter right hands.

Groves shouldn’t be fazed by the big occasion, he is experienced in big fights now and put quite simply he is the more skilled fighter in there this weekend, providing he performs to the best of his ability, Jack shouldn’t have enough to top that.

I think Groves can knock Badou Jack out this weekend, but certainly wouldn’t be surprised to see him have to go the distance, therefore it leaves a bit of a betting dilemma. Groves is 6/4 to get the stoppage while he is 11/4 to win via points, its a tough toss up between those two for me.

Jack has been iced before in the 1st round by a modest Derek Edwards, Edwards is not regarded as a murderous puncher so you would like to think if Groves can land some consistent big right hands they should have an effect. Therefore I am going to settle on a pick and back Groves for the stoppage at 6/4 best price at Betvictor.

PREDICTION: GROVES KO8

BETTING TIP: £20 on Groves by KO/TKO 6/4 Betvictor.