Badou Jack retained his WBC Super-middleweight title with a split decision victory over George Groves at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Saturday night.
This was Groves’s third attempt at a world title after being stopped twice by Carl Froch and yet more agony was piled on the British fighter in America as he again failed to claim the belt.
He began the contest well and was winning round one until disaster struck. With only seconds remaining, Jack threw an over hand right which sent Groves down after connecting to the chin.
It was the worst possible start- losing the opening round 10-8 away form home.
Groves recovered well, however, and he boxed well for the next few rounds.
The problem for the ‘Saint’ was that Jack also boxed well as both combatants had successes with solid jabs.
Rounds five and six were all Groves as he gained some control and I had him two points up going into the seventh despite the early knock down.
But unfortunately for Groves, the question of stamina in the second half of fights, cropped up again.
At the end of round eight Jack’s trainer told his man, “his (Groves’s) legs are shot, he’s done”.
He was right.
From round seven onwards a composed Jack seemed to win every round apart from a great surge from Groves in the eleventh.
It was a good effort from Groves but it wasn’t enough to tempt the judges. It was surprising how ineffective his power was against the Swedish champion.
Badou Jack deserved to retain his crown. He had sharp, accurate punches and was untroubled by Groves throughout.
Will that world title always elude George Groves? It will seem like a million miles away now for the distraught Londoner.