Chris Eubank Jr to replace George Groves in World Boxing Super Series final
Groves has been desperately trying to overcome the shoulder injury he suffered in the last round of his clinical beating of Eubank Jnr in time to face Callum Smith.
But the Times say WBSS bosses have finally run out of patience with Groves and have called controversial Eubank Jnr back into the competition.
An announcement is expected to be made over the next week to allow the fighters time to prepare for the bout that will decide the winner of the super-middleweight division of the inaugural series.
WBA world super-middleweight champion Groves, 30, dislocated his shoulder late in the clash with Eubank Jnr in February when he outclassed his opponent.
He immediately underwent surgery to repair the damage, and then asked the WBSS to delay the planned June final by a month to allow him to recover.
They agreed to put the final, likely to be held in Manchester, back until July – but Groves has been struggling to prove he is fully fit in time to commit to the bout.
And organisers are unwilling to wait any longer, having committed millions to the exciting new competition that has caught the imagination of boxing fans.
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They are insisting the final with Liverpool ace Smith has to take place in July and are refusing to grant Groves any extra time to finish his rehabilitation.
With a camp for such a high-profile fight ideally needing to be 12 weeks long, Eubank Jnr was told to get back in training to ensure he would be in condition if needed.
And now it appears the decision has been made to make the switch for the final – which will mean the world title is now not up for grabs for the winner.
Groves has been told he will keep his WBA belt, and talks are understood to be taking place for the London fighter to take on the winner of a Smith-Eubank Jnr fighter.
WBSS officials are keen to maintain the integrity of the competition by sticking to the original time-frame, with the super-middleweights running alongside a cruiserweight tournament.
That division has not been without its problems after Oleksandr Usyk suffered an elbow injury having secured a place in the final against Murat Gassiev.
But Usyk has proved his fitness in time to start camp ahead of a July final, which will see all four world titles up for grabs.
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