Chris Eubank Jr claimed George Groves would “love” to be him as he labelled their super-middleweight clash this weekend as “a defining fight for me”.
The British pair meet in a World Boxing Super Series semi-final at the Manchester Arena on Saturday, with Groves’ WBA world title on the line.
Groves (27-3, 20 KOs) has questioned the pedigree of Eubank Jr (26-1, 20 KOs) – who holds the lesser-regarded IBO strap – as well as mocking his social media profile by branding him “Insta famous”.
And at a pre-fight press conference in Manchester on Wednesday, Groves called his opponent a “cliche” and a “gimmick”.
Eubank Jr then said to Groves: “You keep calling me a gimmick and Insta famous – you’re kind of obsessed with trying to put across to the public that I’m not real. I think it’s plain to see that’s ludicrous.
“If anything, I think you would love to be me, you would love to be in my position. You would love to have the Instagram followers and the style (that I have).
“You’re even wearing the same suit I wore when we had our first face-off. The same colour, the same style. I think you’re jealous, George.”
Eubank Jr has spoken about now being the time for him to step out of his famous father and namesake’s shadow, and the 28-year-old says victory on Saturday, to make him “the best super-middleweight in the world”, will be “just the beginning” as he targets all the belts in the division.
He said: “This is a defining fight for me, the fight that can propel me to the top of the sport. It gives me the right to say I am legitimately the best super-middleweight in the world.
“Two world titles, that’s every fighter’s dream, and it’s just the beginning – it’s collection season, I’m coming for all the belts. After this tournament all the other guys who hold belts are all on the hit list.
“This is my time, my opportunity to prove everything I’ve been saying is real, and it’s to prove that the doubters, the naysayers, the keyboard warriors were wrong.”
Eubank Jr said he thought Groves would respond to a loss on Saturday “maybe (with) a retirement” and added: “I don’t think George is fully committed to this fight and willing to give everything to win. I am.”
Groves, 29, hit back at questioning of his appetite, saying: “My desire is the same it had always been. I’m world champion and I want to continue to be. I’ve sacrificed a lot, I’ve been through some terrible times to get to where I am now.
“Desire is one thing that I know I’ve always had in abundance.”
Groves won a world title at the fourth attempt by stopping Fedor Chudinov last May, having fallen short in previous attempts against Carl Froch, twice, and Badou Jack.
He described Saturday’s bout as “easier” than each of those fights, plus his 2011 victory over James DeGale, and himself as being “levels above” Eubank Jr, who called him a “novice”.
Groves also quipped Eubank Jr will “probably blame his dad and move back down to middleweight” if he loses at the weekend.