Saturday, September 12, 2015, in Las Vegas, Super Middleweight champion Badou Jack (20-1-1, 12 KOs) took on the always-resilient George Groves (22-3, 16 KOs) in what was billed to as one hell of a fight and it did not disappoint.
Jack came into the bout as the underdog, despite being the champion. As the first bell sounded off, fans were treated to a great opening round that had action coming in high volumes from both combatants.
Jack scored first on the cards late in the first using a clever faint that lured Groves in for a nice overhand right that landed clean on the temple, sending him to the canvas. Following the first round, Groves recovered well and began to assert himself in the next few rounds by using solid footwork and multi-punch combos.
By the fourth round both guys attempted to make use of some bodywork with Groves looking like the busier fighter, but Jack seemed to be landing the more effective blows.
Prior to this bout, many people suggested that Groves would fade and Jack would capitalize in the later rounds. Groves on the other hand, proved his doubters wrong throwing an accumulated 721 punches, but only landed 154 (21 percent).
Jack was a bit more selective with his blows, landing 210 of 506 (42 percent) punches. Heading into the mid-to-late rounds, Jack began to establish himself more and began to get the better of the hard exchanges.
However, Groves was never completely out of the fight. As Jack tried working the body in the championship rounds, Groves would return the favor and by the end of the 12th and final round, fans were on their feet applauding a great match. After 12 great rounds of action, we went to the scorecards. Final scores were 115-112, 116-111, and 115-113 for your winner and still Super Middleweight champion Badou Jack.
“He came to fight and was prepared for 12 rounds. I should’ve got the KO but didn’t,” said Jack after retaining his title.
“I like to break my opponent down throughout the fight and I thought I did that today.”
When asked about what’s next, Jack mentioned a couple of potential opponents. “There are a lot of great fights out there for me. There’s [Julio Cesar] Chavez Jr. or maybe Lucian Bute.”
Groves was visibly disappointed as he stormed out of the ring after the decision was announced.
“It was a legit knockdown in the first round. He landed the right hand over the top, but I have good fitness and I thought I got back in control of that round,” said Groves.
“I am going to take some time to work out what’s next. Losing a world title fight is the worst feeling in the world,” said a dejected Groves.
Who would you like to see Jack face next?