Injured George Groves risks missing final with discolated shoulder after Eubank Jr win

George Groves rocks Chris Eubank Jr. with a right hand during their World Boxing Super Series semifinal. (Reuters)
Updated 18 February 2018
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Injured George Groves risks missing final with discolated shoulder after Eubank Jr win

MANCHESTER: George Groves’s place in the World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) final is in doubt after his unanimous points win over Chris Eubank Jr.
Groves earned scores of 117-112, 116-112 and 115-113 over his English rival at the Manchester Arena on Saturday, but went straight from the ring to hospital after suffering a suspected dislocated left shoulder in the last round.
Victory over Eubank in a second defense of his World Boxing Association (WBA) super-middleweight title also secured Groves a place in the final of the eight-man tournament.
“I haven’t diagnosed it yet but it feels pretty sore,” Groves said in the ring afterwards before missing the traditional post-fight press conference.
“I wasn’t going to let anything beat me. I’ve boxed on with cuts, broken jaws, everything. Here, I wasn’t going to let any injury get me out.
“It was about who wanted it most I think, and I obviously wanted it most,” added Groves, still due to fight the winner of the second semifinal between England’s Callum Smith and Germany’s Jurgen Braehmer on February 24.
The WBSS final is meant to take place at the O2 Arena in London on June 2, but Groves’s trainer Shane McGuigan said there are now concerns over whether the champion will be fit by then.
“He suffered a shoulder injury in the last round, we don’t know what that is at the moment but hopefully he can box again soon,” McGuigan told a press conference.
“After a performance like that he’s the best super-middleweight on the planet. We fulfilled the game plan to the T and executed it perfectly. We beat them on many different levels.”
Kalle Sauerland, promoter and co-founder of the WBSS, said the tournament’s duration is finite. “We have scope of when the tournament must be completed,” he said.
“We will wait until Monday. With those sort of injuries you can train very quickly again — if it’s a case of it just popping out. No one knows until it has been scanned.”
Sauerland said that despite losing, Eubank could find himself in the WBSS final if Groves is ruled out through injury.
“He will definitely be on the list,” said Sauerland. “It’s a decision that’s taken by the (WBSS) board. I will make my recommendations.”
Eubank Jr, 28, said he was hampered by a cut above his right eye suffered in the third round.
“This is the first time I’ve been cut in my career,” he told reporters.
“I couldn’t see out of my right eye for pretty much most of the fight and that affected my style. I had to resort to loading up. Every time he moved to my right, I couldn’t see him.
“In the later rounds I was hurting him with a lot of shots. I thought I did enough in the later rounds to nick it, but George had a good game plan.”
Eubank’s father Chris Sr, who was world middleweight and super-middleweight champion in the 1990s, admitted Groves deserved the decision.
“He (Junior) didn’t perform,” said Eubank Sr. “He’s a lot better than what you saw because he was loading up. He didn’t close him down. No combinations, just power, but that’s okay, he will live and learn.
“George fought the right fight, staying off, feinting, and when he came in, he held. It was perfect tactics.”


‘Captain fantastic’ Harry Kane to the rescue as England beat Tunisia at the death

Updated 19 June 2018
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‘Captain fantastic’ Harry Kane to the rescue as England beat Tunisia at the death

  • Harry Kane came to the rescue with two goals, the second a dramatic injury-time winner
  • England had started brightly in a blur of passing and movement and could have been two goals up inside the first four minutes

VOLGOGRAD, Russia: Captain Harry Kane came to the rescue with two goals, the second a dramatic injury-time winner, as England began their World Cup Group G campaign with a stuttering 2-1 win over Tunisia on Monday.
Gareth Southgate’s men almost paid a heavy price for missing a slew of first-half chances when Tunisia’s Ferjani Sassi slotted home a softly-awarded penalty 20 minutes before half-time.
And the north Africans were still level as the game went past the 90-minute mark.
But Harry Maguire won a header from a corner and Kane was on hand at the far post to nod in the winner before being mobbed by his ecstatic teammates.
“I’m so proud of the lads,” Kane said. “They kept going, kept going to the last second.
“I am absolutely buzzing, everyone on the staff is. It shows good character to get the job done.”
England had started brightly in a blur of passing and movement and could have been two goals up inside the first four minutes.
First Jordan Henderson’s lofted first-time pass released Dele Alli and when the ball eventually broke to Jesse Lingard he saw his shot from six yards saved by the outstretched left boot of Mouez Hassen in the Tunisia goal.
Kane had been kept quiet in the opening salvos but he exploded into action in the 11th minute when he cut inside from the left and saw his shot from the edge of the box deflected wide for a corner.
Ashley Young delivered the set piece for John Stones to rise highest and meet with a powerful header. Hassen saved acrobatically but Kane was on hand to tap home the rebound with his right foot and open his World Cup account.
Hassen, who had injured his left shoulder making an earlier save, could not continue and left the field in tears as he was replaced in goal by Farouk Ben Mustapha.
England continued to press and were made to pay for not converting a succession of chances when they conceded a soft penalty.
Kyle Walker swung a lazy arm across Fakhreddine Ben Youssef who fell as if poleaxed and Colombian referee Wilmar Roldan pointed to the spot, with his decision being upheld by the VAR.
Ferjani Sassi took one step and fired home confidently past the hitherto unemployed Jordan Pickford and Tunisia who had been outplayed for the first half-hour were somehow level 10 minutes before half-time.
Still there was time for Lingard to come close again twice, first from a goalbound shot and then a dink over the keeper which agonizingly struck the post.
Alli too hit the woodwork with a header and England went into half-time wondering how they had not sealed victory already.
England still enjoyed the lion’s share of possession but could not find the same zip and penetration they had enjoyed at the start of the first half.
The ineffective Sterling gave way to Marcus Rashford with just over 20 minutes to go and the Manchester United man almost fashioned a chance straight away with a jinking run into the box.