WBA Super World Champion George Groves (28-3, 20 KOs) and WBC Diamond titlist Callum Smith (24-0, 17 KOs) performed with great mood and confidence at Tuesday’s public workout ahead of their hotly anticipated Ali Trophy Super Middleweight Final on Friday at the Indoor Sports Hall in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
“I am the form of my life,” said Groves after the classic display of shadow boxing and speedy pad work.
“I am not too fussed about Callum, to be honest, I don’t know how he is feeling. I am concentrating on myself. That’s what works for me, that’s the winning formula. As long as I’m in a good place no one is going to beat me.
“I am number one in the division, proud of it. I am the favourite going into this fight, I was the number one seed when the tournament started. I am going to win, and I am going to win well. We are in a great place.”
‘The Saint’ is not only mentally in a good place, but he is also in a good place when it comes to the location for the final.
“Everything out here has been better than expected, you know, I have never been here before. But the food has been fantastic, the people have been lovely and our accommodation is great.”
Callum Smith also appeared in the same optimistic mood ahead of his first shot at a world title and the unique chance to take home the Muhammad Ali Trophy at 168 lb.
“I’m excited, there is a lot at stake,” said ‘Mundo’. “Win this fight I will have achieved what I always wanted to achieve. I am so close to finally doing it all.”
Smith arrived in Jeddah Friday, a few days earlier than Groves, and it has been easy to adjust to the new surroundings.
“We did the set-up over the weekend and it feels like I am at home. could be anywhere in the world as long as my family is with me. I am good, I woke up this morning as a happy person.”
Wednesday the combatants will meet, exchange words and go head-to-head at the pre-fight press conference.
Fans in the UK can watch Groves vs Smith LIVE on ITV Box Office. Ringwalks for the final will be at 9.00 pm UK time. Registration is open at itvboxoffice.com.
Fans in the U.S. can watch LIVE on DAZN, the global sports streaming platform. To sign up for a one-month free trial, fans can visit DAZN.com or download the DAZN app to their preferred connected device.
History makers: Groves and Smith both confident of Ali Trophy glory in Jeddah
WBA Super World Champion George Groves (28-3, 20 KOs) and Callum Smith (24-0, 17 KOs) met Friday at a press conference in London ahead of their hotly anticipated Ali Trophy Super Middleweight Final on Friday 28 September at the Indoor Sports Hall in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
“We believe Groves and Smith will create absolute fireworks in Jeddah,” said Comosa’s Chief Boxing Officer, Kalle Sauerland.
“We will deliver a final in territory which has never seen boxing before at this level. It will be the first time in this region that such an event will take place. We are very proud to promote the first-ever boxing event in Saudi Arabia. It’s historical.”
“One day Groves and Smith will be able to tell their children and grandchildren that they were the first to fight in this region.”
On the line in Jeddah: The Muhammad Ali Trophy, the WBA Super World Championship, The WBC Diamond belt and the Ring Magazine belt. Only Joe Calzaghe and Andre Ward have ever held The Ring title at 168 lb.
“I believe that Callum Smith is best challenger on the planet, the number one of challengers in the division, someone who has risen over the years against some strong names,” said Sauerland.
“George Groves is the man to beat in the super middleweight division bar none, someone who has achieved the dream of all boxers to become champion of the world. He needs no further introduction.”
George Groves, the 30-year-old from Hammersmith, acknowledges the magnitude of the final.
“It’s a big fight for both of us, but it’s a big step up for Callum,” said George Groves.
“Is has been a long preparation for the fight. I am fit, I am healthy, I have put in the work,” said tournament number 1 seed.
“This will be the toughest test yet in the tournament, but I am boxing better than ever and I don’t see Callum posing a threat, I expect another comfortable win.”
“We are preparing for the very best Smith possible. We know what to do and I am capable of it, I just need to get it done.”
28-year-old Callum Smith from Liverpool spoke with the same calm confidence at the press conference in London.
“I am in a good place, feeling good,” said Smith.
“I feel comfortable in winning. I just feel I am a better fighter than anyone he has fought in this tournament. I feel confident I will come out on top.”
“The fans should be in for a treat, I am looking forward to become a world champion.”
The Ali Trophy Super Middleweight Final in Jeddah is the conclusion of Season 1 of the World Boxing Super Series. In the Cruiserweight edition Ukrainian Aleksandr Usyk became the first winner ever of the Muhammad Ali Trophy and the first unified Cruiserweight champion in the four belt era after he impressively outboxed Russian Murat Gassiev July 21.
The journey for the final for the two British gladiators began at the Draft Gala in Monaco in July last year where Groves, the number one seed, and second-seeded Smith, picked their opponents.
The final on September 28 will be Groves’ third defence of his WBA Super World title, with all three fights involving British opponents – Jamie Cox, Chris Eubank Jr. and now Callum Smith.
Callum Smith booked his place in the final after defeating Sweden’s Erik Skoglund and Dutchman Nieky Holzken in the quarter-final and semi-final respectively. The WBC Diamond belt holder has his first shot at a World title after being in mandatory positions over the last few years, and like Groves, a unique chance to bring home the Muhammad Ali Trophy, The Greatest Prize in Boxing.
The venue: The Indoor Sports Hall at King Abdullah Sports City. Capacity: 10.000.
Time: The final will start at 9.00 pm UK time on Friday September 28.