Chris Eubank Jnr set his sights on a showdown with George Groves after the successful defence of his IBO world super-middleweight title with a unanimous points win over German Arthur Abraham at Wembley Arena.
Although the champion was not able to deliver a knockout blow against the battle-hardened 37-year-old, himself a former IBF middleweight and twice WBO super-middleweight title holder, the superiority across the judges scorecards gave Eubank the validation he needed heading into the inaugural World Boxing Super Series.
Next up for Eubank will be Turkey’s Avni Yildirim in a quarter-final contest, with the winner set to face either Groves or Jamie Cox.
Londoner Groves, the recently-crowned WBA world super-middleweight champion, was ringside to watch Eubank taken the distance.
After the victory, the 27-year-old declared his intentions to deliver a contest which British fight fans would relish.
Speaking to ITV Box Office, Eubank said: “He (Abraham) is the most durable opponent I have faced, he has not been stopped for a reason. I hit him with every punch in the book.
“I know I hurt him bad, I just couldn’t get him out of there, but the statement was made. He did not win a round against me, and I am happy with the performance.
“I am a warrior. I do what I do to get the win, and if I can look sexy at the same time, then so be it.
“I got to show my boxing skills and get the experience in.
“I am going into the (WBSS) Super Eight tournament to take this man’s (Groves) belt.”
Eubank added: “He (Groves) knows what is going to happen when we get into the ring, it will be a spectacular fight, the whole of Britain wants to see it and after I beat him I am coming for (James) DeGale.”
Groves, though, sees things differently.
“There is a potential I could meet Eubank, but he is in a hard fight against the Turkish lad,” he said.
“I think this is a tournament that will really revolutionise boxing to a certain degree – there is eight of the best super-middleweights in the world in there together and we just can’t wait to kick it off.
“Everybody is in it to win it and hopefully we will see some cracking fights.”
The 29-year-old added: “I am the only current recognised world champion in there, Chris is now in there… so I am bringing the best prize to the table.
“They managed to bring the WBC diamond belt in as well, but no-one is the champion of that yet.
“The draw for me as well is that I come out of there as unified world champion as well as being involved in some big, cracking fights.
“I have been telling everyone I think I am the best in the division, and I will be able to claim that this time next year after I have won the World Boxing Super Series, so it has got to be done.”