Chris Eubank Jr eyes middleweight return after defeat to George Groves

Chris Eubank Jr. insists he will take whatever route he can to become a world champion. Tim Williams/Action Plus via Getty Images

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND -- Chris Eubank Jr. is not ruling out a return to middleweight after a unanimous points defeat to George Groves, whose trainer Shane McGuigan said he never contemplated throwing in the towel despite a shoulder injury on Saturday.

WBA world super-middleweight champion Groves beat his English rival by scores of 117-112, 116-112 and 115-113 at the Manchester Arena.

Eubank (26-2, 20 KOs) only stepped up from middleweight a year ago and would consider a return to the division if he can secure another world title shot.

"It's a good experience and I will learn from it," Eubank said. "In a defeat, there are things you should look to change.

"When you are fighting a man who is a stone heavier than you, you feel it. I'm going to take whatever route I can to win a world title. There are some great fights down at middleweight -- it depends what one I get first.

"Did size come into it? Yes, a little bit. I was getting a lot of success inside. He caught me with a few jabs here and I guess that was enough to win a few rounds."

Eubank Jr. had to listen to his father Chris Eubank Sr.'s uncompromising assessment of where he went wrong at a post-fight press conference.

"He [Junior] didn't perform," said Eubank Sr., who was world middleweight and super-middleweight champion in the 1990s. 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."

The 28-year-old, from Brighton, felt like his late rally had been enough to earn the judges' scores.

"In the later rounds I was hurting him with a lot of shots," said Eubank. "I thought I did enough in the later rounds to nick it, but George had a good game plan."

Trainer Shane McGuigan said he never had any intention of pulling Groves (28-3, 20 KOs) out of the fight after the champion suffered injury to his left shoulder at the start of the 12th round.

Groves' place in the World Boxing Super Series final -- due to be at London's O2 Arena on June 2 -- is uncertain until scans reveal how serious the injury is.

"There was no towel going in when you are that far up on points," said McGuigan. "He was always going to survive that last two minutes. He missed with a long left hook and when you're fatigued it's an awkward shot.

"He knew something was wrong but he was able to slip and tie him up. Eubank Jr. was hurt numerous times and that's why he was so heavy legged later on and couldn't land the shots he needed.

"Eubank Jr. couldn't adjust all the way through that fight and as George said it was levels. Eubank Jr. came unstuck in every department. He looked lost in there and needs to go and reassess his career. I believe he needs to go back to middleweight."