On Saturday, September 29, the World Boxing Super Series super-middleweight final between George Groves and Callum Smith will head to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Is there value in the Groves vs. Smith betting? Read on for some expert insight to inform your Groves vs. Smith predictions.
A close look at the Groves vs. Smith odds
After a dominant semi-final victory over Chris Eubank Jr, George Groves comes into the fight as favourite. The Money Line odds give the WBA champion around a 55%* chance of winning the World Boxing Super Series super-middleweight final.
Live Groves vs. Smith odds
How did both fighters get to the World Boxing Super Series final?
In an all-British bout, both fighters earned their spot in the World Boxing Super Series final by winning their respective semi-finals back in February. The winner of the World Boxing Super Series final will not only be a world title holder but also the owner of the Muhammad Ali Trophy, WBC Diamond belt and the Ring Magazine belts.
Number one seed George Groves was brilliant in his semi-final victory over the much fancied Chris Eubank Jr, dominating the challenger over 12 exciting rounds to claim a unanimous points victory.
Will George Groves’ injury be a factor?
Groves dislocated his left shoulder in his resounding win over Chris Eubank Jr in February, creating doubt on his ability to be ready for Smith. The WBA title holder labelled his injury as "minor", but an injury of this nature cannot be ignored — especially when boxing at this level — where the margin for error is so small.
When you dislocate a shoulder the tendon stretches, which makes it easier to pop out again. Surgery can shorten the tendons to stop this but can give a boxer slightly restricted movement — which is not ideal for Groves.
The Londoner has seen one of the leading surgeons in the UK and says he is extremely happy with the outcome, and stated that the shoulder is responding well to treatment, but it is impossible to know the full impact until the injury has been tested in a hard twelve round contest.
Groves’ main weapon and likely key to victory is his jab (the arm the shoulder injury occurred) so he will need to be fully fit to neutralise his game plan and beat Smith on September 29.
Will experience be a key to victory?
The decision to take the World Boxing Super Series final to Saudi Arabia has potentially given Groves an edge. The London fighter has not travelled to fight since losing to Badou Jack in Las Vegas, three years ago, but is vastly more experienced boxing on the road than Smith as a professional.
As an amateur Groves won the Senior ABA championship in both 2006 and 2007, and has fought in major championships around the world, winning medals in multiple countries.
For Smith, it will be the 28-year-old's first world title fight, and the first time the Liverpudlian has been involved in a real big fight of this magnitude.
As a professional Smith has won Commonwealth, British and European super-middleweight titles, and was a very good amateur coming through the advanced GB Boxing programme, but the Liverpool fighter will be taking a big leap up in class when he challenges Groves.
Groves vs. Smith betting: What can bettors expect?
George Groves has his critics as a fighter, but has grown with experience and looks to be entering the peak of his career. The 30 year-old was written off against James DeGale and Chris Eubank Jr, with few experts giving him a chance — he beat both.
Groves was not meant to be competitive against Carl Froch, but pushed him all the way, dropping the ultra-durable Cobra heavily in their first encounter, which demonstrates the kind of power the 30 year-old possesses if he lands clean.
Stylistically, Smith represents a more straight forward challenge for Groves than previous opponents and since teaming up with Shane McGuigan, the 30 year-old is on a seven-fight winning streak, picking-up the WBA Super along the way.
Smith, unbeaten in 23 fights, with 17 knockouts is extremely tall for a super middleweight at 6ft 3ins and does carry real power. A worry for Smith would be how often he got hit by Erik Skoglund's jab in their quarter-final clash, as Groves arguably has the best jab in the super-middleweight division and certainly a superior one to Erik Skoglund.
Both fighters do have the power, to end the fight in one punch, but it is highly likely the fight is a distance fight (Over 9.5 rounds can be backed at 1.359*) with a small margin of victory. Experience at this level is key and George Groves holds that advantage over Smith.