By Paul Mason
Callum Smith became the new WBA (Super) Super Middleweight Champion, and won the World Boxing Super Series, with a clinical seventh-round knockout win over George Groves last night. In a competitive fight, that saw good pockets of action, Groves appeared hurt in the third, and at the start of the seventh, was ahead on two scorecards, level on a third, and behind on the fourth. Smith connected with a big left hook and followed up with a hard right to the body that unravelled Groves. on backtracking to the corner, he dropped to the canvas, taking the full ten count to succumb to defeat. The sky is now the limit for the Liverpudlian, while Groves is left to contemplate plotting a new route to the top. What is next now for the two participants of last nights final?
Callum Smith instantly becomes a wanted man at Super Middle following his career-best win. There is a multitude of options that have now opened up for him following his win in Jeddah, and, with the Title scene fractured at the weight, there are some good matches, and potential unification fights for vacant Titles to be made. Current WBC Champion, David Benavidez, could likely be stripped of his Title, after testing positive for cocaine. The WBC are currently deliberating on this. The IBF Title lies vacant, following James DeGale’s somewhat surprising vacation of the belt. The WBA regular Champion is Rocky Fielding, who Smith destroyed in one round in November 2015. Fielding has come on in leaps and bounds since that reverse, capturing the World crown in July with a stoppage of Tyron Zeuge in Germany. Weather that rematch could sell though is another matter, but both are with the same promotional team. The most avoided man in the division is the WBO Champion, Gilberto Ramirez, who is 38-0 and has four successful Title defences to his name but is yet to be tested.
It’s been a long hard road for George Groves throughout his career, with plenty of miles on the clock. A former British, Commonwealth, European, and World Champion, he has little to prove in the sport. The question will be what desire does “The Saint” have left, having climbed to the top of the mountain once before. With Titles in the division not being claimed, conceivably Groves could plot a new route with multiple governing bodies. At thirty years of age, he still has time left in the sport, and there are still some decent matches to be made. I think at this stage though, a good rest, following a busy 18 months, is in order, and few could argue that he doesn’t deserve one. I hope he comes back refreshed for another assault on the World scene, as he was more than in the fight up to the time of the knockout. If he does decide to hang up the gloves, it has been a fabulous career of ups and downs, and he will forever have World Champion associated with his name.