JEDDAH — The new king of the super middleweight division was crowned yesterday with Callum Smith scoring a seventh-round KO of George Groves at the King Abdullah Sports City.
The 6’3 Smith towered over the 5’11 Groves and used this height advantage to “fight tall” behind the jab and force Groves to lunge with his jabs and right hands. This allowed Smith many countering opportunities and he wobbled Groves in the third with a short right hand.
In rounds 5-6, Groves found better timing with the left jab and scored well with right hooks to the body.
This success lulled Groves into taking a fatal chance in the seventh. He predictably lunged twice with a right hand and was perfectly timed by Smith’s left hook. The shot made Groves stumble into the corner and Smith poured on power shots to the body, a left hook upstairs, and another devastating right as Groves sunk to his knees.
Groves shook his head while taking the count and signified his surrender by standing up as the count reached 10.
The win gives Smith the WBA and WBC Diamond titles to go along with the RING Magazine super middleweight title.
Excellent performance from Smith. I find it even more impressive that he took out Groves with technical skill instead of overwhelming him with physical advantages.
Even better is the litany of challenges now available. If Smith wants to focus on UK bouts, rematches with Groves or Rocky Fielding are viable. Chris Eubank and Arthur Abraham are also still hanging around the Top 10 of various sanctioning bodies.
If Smith wants to be ambitious, there are dangerous young guns like David Benavidez, Jose Uzcategui and Gilberto Ramirez.
Regardless, the 2019 possibilities for the super middleweight division look very promising.