Middle East to stage fight later this year
The World Boxing Super Series super-middleweight final between George Groves and Callum Smith will be held in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on September 28.
In what will also be Groves’ third WBA title defence, Smith’s first world title fight, and both fighters’ chance to win the Muhammad Ali trophy, they will meet at the King Abdullah Sports City.
Confirmation of the location comes after venues in Manchester, the Midlands and London were also considered for what represents Groves’ biggest fight since his rematch in 2014 with Carl Froch.
The 30-year-old defeated Jamie Cox in the competition’s quarter-finals in October, and then Chris Eubank Jnr in the final four in February, when a dislocated shoulder threatened his participation in the final against Smith.
He was then passed fit to fight in May, and he said: “It’s fantastic news that we now have a confirmed date and location for the final.
“I’m incredibly excited that the fight has been formally confirmed to take place in Jeddah. I’m excited and sure this final will eclipse every WBSS fight to date for excitement and drama.
“I have been in camp for a while already but am now looking forward to stepping the training up now that the date’s been set.”
The promising Smith, 28, hopes to become the second of four boxing brothers – following Liam – to win a world title.
After defeating Nieky Holzken and Erik Skoglund to challenge Groves, he said: “It has been a long time since my semi-final win over Holzken.
“But the most important thing to me is that my opponent is George Groves. It means that by the end of September I have the chance to be the WBA champion and the number one super-middleweight in the world. I believe I will do it.
“I am excited to be part of such a big night of boxing. It began with the red carpet treatment (at the competition draw) in Monaco and will end with more of the same in Jeddah.”
The final of the cruiserweight edition of the WBSS concluded last weekend in Moscow, where Ukraine’s Oleksandr Usyk impressively outboxed Murat Gassiev of Russia in a fight that unified all four of the division’s world titles.