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George Groves v Jamie Cox: Pressure on Saint to shine at Wembley on Saturday

George Groves picked to book a semi-final slot
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All the talk is about Groves - Eubank, but Betfair's boxing guy Frankie Monkhouse looks at what Saint George must do to get past Jamie Cox...

"All the pressure is on George Groves going into this fight. As well as a defence of his world title, this bout also serves as a quarter-final in the increasingly popular World Series Boxing."

George Groves v Jamie Cox
Saturday, 22:30
Live on ITV Box Office

A packed Wembley Arena provides the setting for the highlight of this weekend's boxing betting action as British pair George Groves and Jamie Cox do battle over the WBA super middleweight world title.

Groves is expected to win with minimal fuss, the betting pricing this one up as little more than target practice for Saint George, but plenty in the game believe the underdog has been written off too easily. Let's look at the chances of an upset that would shock fight fans and traders alike.


Groves win would set-up meeting with Eubank

All the pressure is on George Groves going into this fight. As well as a defence of his world title, this bout also serves as a quarter-final in the increasingly popular World Series Boxing. Win here and 29-year-old Groves would set-up a semi-final meeting with big-punching rival Chris Eubank. Junior took care of business last weekend when stopping Avni Yildirim inside three rounds, making a mockery of what was billed as a tough night's work. He now awaits Groves and a British super-fight, with possible venues, including Stamford Bridge, mentioned in the press.

Exciting, if not a tad disrespectful to Jamie Cox, who hasn't lost yet. There's no doubt Groves should be favourite for Saturday's fight, his experience and recent form making him a short price too, but the Londoner has suffered three career defeats already, his CV standing at 26-3-0. KO'd in two of those three, cut down by Carl Froch in 2013 and 2014, his last defeat came at the hands of Badou Jack in 2015, losing a split decision in Las Vegas.

Since the Jack disappointment, Groves has reeled off five wins on the bounce, winning three inside-the-distance. Andrea Di Luisa and David Brophy were stopped inside five, he then beat Martin Murray and Eduard Gutknecht on the scorecards, before claiming the WBA bauble with a powerful win over the very capable Fedor Chudinov in six rounds at Bramall Lane back in May. Groves is picked to extend that purple patch, adding the scalp of Jamie Cox.

Punters wanting to side with the champion must make do with the 1/6 currently available on the sportsbook, or [1.17] through the exchange. A 20th career knockout win is 4/5, the points cheer making plenty of appeal at 15/8, both sportsbook.


A monumental leap up in class for Cox

Difficult to get too excited about a Groves cheer in the fight winner market. So, who is Jamie Cox, and what does he bring to the table that could excite lovers of an upset? The 31-year-old southpaw from Swindon travels to Wembley with an unbeaten record, 24 wins from 24 starts, 13 of those coming by way of knockout. He has fought the 12-round championship distance only once before, outpointing African Obodai Sai for the Commonwealth super welterweight title in 2011.

Despite that being six years ago, Cox has boxed only eight times since, and was last seen in a four-round contest with Georgian opponent Giorgi Kandelaki, a 33-year-old with a record of 20 wins, 26 defeats and three draws. Seemingly nothing more than a warm-up, designed to keep the challenger sharp, he'll now face a monumental leap up in class, Groves a better standard of opponent than he has faced before.

Keeping that in mind, it's tough to make a strong case for the title changing hands at the end of this one, and Betfair traders are confident Cox will return to Wiltshire empty-handed. So much so, there's 5/1 (sportsbook) on the away win, [7.0] on the exchange. Inexperienced over the 12 rounds, he'll surely be looking to take Groves out. Keeping in mind the jolly has been stopped twice already, a KO/TKO win may attract attention at 7/1. I wouldn't have free money on that, but it's more likely than the points win, yours at a chunky 16/1.


Recommended Bets

Groves by KO/TKO @ 4/5 (Sportsbook)


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