George Groves v Callum Smith Friday, 21:30 Live on ITV Box Office
WBSS comes to a thrilling climax
The Muhammad Ali Trophy, WBA Super and WBC Diamond super middleweight titles are on the line on Friday night in the unfamiliar surroundings of Jeddah as George Groves and Callum Smith meet at the King Abdullah Sports City.
The conclusion of what has been a thrilling World Boxing Super Series, one man will drive themselves towards major titles, while pushing the other back down through the pecking order. It's a fight that has kept traders guessing in the build up with very little between the rivals in the latest fight winner betting.
Saint George the market fancy
George Groves upset the odds to make it into the final when beating Chris Eubank Jnr at the Manchester Arena back in February. Many industry insiders had Junior picked to continue his rise to the top with another impressive win, but it was Saint George who came out on top, doing what he does best to defy the bookies.
A comfortable outing, Groves established the jab early and used it to keep his opponent at bay before moving in with power shots to head and body. The final scores - 117-112, 116-112, 115-113 certainly didn't flatter the Londoner who moved his professional record to 28-3-0.
The only slight downside of an otherwise perfect evening for the Hammersmith native was a shoulder injury picked up in the bout that required surgery, the reason we've had to wait seven months to crown a champion. Surprisingly, and for one of the first times in his career at the top level, Groves finds himself a betting favourite, 1.86 available on the Betfair Exchange. Another points cheer appeals at 15/8, the KO/TKO less likely at 10/3, both prices available when playing the Betfair Sportsbook's method of victory market.
Value in backing the undefeated man
Callum Smith makes his way to Saudi Arabia for the biggest fight of his career with a perfect 24-bout CV, winning 17 inside the distance. He was pulled over the 12 rounds in his most recent start, getting the better of previously unbeaten Dutchman Nieky Holzken in the semi-finals. Like Groves, the hard-hitting scouser won at a canter 117-111, 118-110, 117-111 handed to referee Thomas Taylor at the final bell.
That was the second win of its kind for Mundo who had inflicted Erik Skoglund's first defeatthe start before, again awarded the victory by those sat at ringside. The hard-working Swede went to the Echo Arena, Liverpool with a perfect record but got nowhere near beating the local on the night, outclassed in every department.
Despite his form, punters looking to stick with Smith will get their hands on a cracking 2.36 thanks to the generosity of the Exchange. That's a much bigger price than I expected to find, but there's better still if you are confident enough to call the method of victory. Callum on points makes perfect sense at 4.00, the KO/TKO a chunky 5.30, all Exchange prices.
Fill your boots on the upset win
Often, we'll find George Groves as a plucky underdog with a point to prove so seeing him carry the support of the market will take some getting used to. He has boxed at a higher level than his opponent, and for much longer too, making his debut in 2008, four years before Smith became a paid fighter.
That experience will count for something on the night, but it really doesn't pay to oppose Mundo who seems to be getting better with every fight. He enjoys a size and reach advantage and will be the naturally heavier, stronger man come the off. A supremely talented unbeaten fighter available at 2.36. We'll take some of that. Those stuck on the fence will enjoy the 4/6 (Betfair Sportsbook) on this one going the distance.