Season one of the World Boxing Super Series concluded with a minor upset, as #2 seed Callum Smith (25-0, 18 KOs) unseated the #1 seed George Groves (28-4, 20 KOs) to become the new WBA super-middleweight champion, as well as the recipient of millions of dollars in prize money and the Muhammad Ali Trophy.
Fans inside the King Abdullah Sports City in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia witnessed a rather cagey and tentative start to the all-English showdown. Groves relied heavily on his jab and work to the body, whereas Smith searched for big power punches. Smith had the first big moment of the fight when he cracked Groves with a right hand that had him on unsteady legs. To his credit, Groves recovered well and landed some hard shots of his own in retaliation, even while against the ropes.
Just when it looked as if Groves was steadily taking control of proceedings through his superior technique and dictating of the pace, Smith had Groves in massive trouble with a hard counter left hook that had Groves staggering backwards. Trapped against the ropes, Groves succumbed to a barrage of punches from Smith, who did hit him with a right hand while he was down but wasn’t penalized by referee Luis Pabon. Groves did not beat the count, and Smith collapsed to his knees, overcome with emotion after the biggest win of his career.
Official result: Callum Smith def. George Groves by KO at 2:04 of round 7 to become the new WBA super-middleweight champion
Smith was presented with the Muhammad Ali Trophy by the sporting icon’s daughter, Rashidah Ali.
Smith keeps his unbeaten record, while Groves’ reign as world champion ends after successfully defending his title twice vs. Jamie Cox and Chris Eubank Jr during the tournament. Scorecards for this one were all over the place, as the three ringside judges had it a split draw at the halfway point, while the tiebreaking fourth judge edged it to Groves.