LONDON — George Groves and Chris Eubank Jr. may still meet at an outdoor football stadium in England early next year.
Groves progressed to a semifinal against Eubank Jr. in the World Boxing Super Series by clinically dispatching Jamie Cox with a right-hook body shot at the SSE Arena in Wembley Saturday.
After a successful first defence of his WBA world super-middleweight title, Groves wants to face his English rival Eubank Jr. at Stamford Bridge, the home of English Premier League (EPL) champions Chelsea who he supports.
Chelsea ruled out the possibility to ESPN FC of hosting Groves-Eubank in January or February, a time of the year when boxing events in the UK happen at indoor venues due to weather.
But Groves’ promoter Kalle Sauerland, who is also Chief Boxing Officer of tournament organiser Comosa AG, still hopes Groves-Eubank Jr can be staged outdoors.
Sauerland told ESPN he is talking to EPL clubs Arsenal and Brighton — the latter Eubank Jr.’s home town — as well as Fulham, who play in English football’s second tier.
Fulham would be closest to Groves’ roots in west London, while Sauerland is also considering the SSE Arena in Wembley, where Groves stopped Cox, and the Manchester Arena.
“We are looking at venues, it’s a tricky time of year,” Sauerland told a press conference.
“It’s a fight you can take to any stadium in the country. It’s January or February so you generally do it indoors but we’re looking to do it outside. If it’s outdoors, it will be a 10 p.m. start and if you’re at a midweek football match that goes to extra time or penalties, it’s going on to a similar time.
“Weather is always a risk but I’ve done shows in Hamburg [Germany] in July and there have been monsoons.”
Groves (27-3, 20 KOs) — a lifelong Chelsea fan — joked at the press conference that he expected Sauerland to secure Stamford Bridge as the venue and was in a good mood following a commanding display.
The Londoner, who won the WBA belt by sixth round stoppage against Russia’s Fedor Chudinov in May, needed a convincing performance after Eubank (26-1, 20 KOs) looked so dangerous in stopping Turkey’s Avni Yildirim in the third round the previous weekend.
Cox (24-1, 13 KOs) was game and never lacked ambition or aggression. Groves, however, was more accurate with quality punches including the shuddering right hook to the body that left Cox counted out on his knees in his first world title attempt.
Groves — who was twice stopped by fellow Briton Carl Froch and then lost a split points decision in previous world title attempts — insists his superior experience at the top of the sport will ensure he overcomes Eubank, 28, early next year.
“I’ve been looking forward to this Eubank fight for a long time,” said Groves.
“He’s improved over the years but he hasn’t boxed anyone on my level. I know if I boxed like I did tonight he doesn’t stand a chance.
“Eubank is a performer first, a fighter second. He’s always aware of how he’s being perceived. He will relish the big occasion. He has been desperate to fight me because he knows it’s a big fight.
“I’ve got a lot of experience of that [the big stage] and it gives me the upper hand. That pressure isn’t easy to carry. It’s not unique to me, but I think he craves fame. I’m here to fight.
“If anyone was doubting me before, I think they know I mean business now.”
Another Englishman, Liverpool’s Callum Smith, is also through to the World Boxing Super Series final four, and he is due to fight either Juergen Braehmer or Rob Brant, who meet at the Sport and Congress Centre in Schwerin, Germany on Oct. 27.