It was a devastating finish from the Liverpudlian
Callum Smith brutally stopped George Groves with a seventh-round pummelling to become super-middleweight champion on Friday night.
By winning the fight, live on talkSPORT, Smith claimed the WBA, Ring Magazine and World Boxing Super Series crowns, establishing himself as the king of his division.
The bout began with a promising opening three minutes as the pair exchanged jabs and began to throw right hands early on. Smith, 28, landed up top while Groves, 30, went to the body.
The younger man utilised his height and reach advantages to seemingly get the better of the second before a sensational third round in which he wobbled his opponent with a right hand.
It was a sign of things to come for London’s George Groves.
Despite landing his jab more consistently and effectively in the following three rounds, his Liverpudlian adversary appeared to have built a lead by the halfway point.
Heading into the seventh, Callum Smith refused to rest on his laurels.
Not long into the round, he landed a massive counter left hook which hurt Groves, causing him to retreat into a corner.
The 30-year-old was then battered to the canvas by a relentless Smith and couldn’t recover to make the count.
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“It’s been a long time coming,” said new champion after the finish.
“There’s times when you start doubting. I’m a big believer in my own ability. I knew I was good enough to become a world champion.
“It was a good fight, I felt I was ahead at the time of the stoppage. I was beating him at his own game, it was a boxing match.
“Credit to George Groves, he’s a great champion. Whether he carries on or not, I’d like to wish him the best of luck in whatever he does.”
Graceful and respectful in defeat, George Groves stated: “It’s just not meant to be. Full credit to Callum. He boxed well.
“We knew he could punch, obviously he’s got height and reach on me as well. I was landing a few shots myself, but obviously so was he.
“I’m not here to make excuses, the shoulder worked. Callum was the better man on the night. For someone like me, that’s tough to say. I can only be honest.
“I’m not retiring, I don’t know what’s next.”
Earlier in the night, Chris Eubank Jr returned with a victory over JJ McDonagh, before almost having an immediate rematch with his opponent in the post-fight interviews.