Middleweight king Gennady Golovkin was considered an option for WBSS Finalist Callum Smith should George Groves pull out, trainer Joe Gallagher revealed to WBN.
In an exclusive interview with the trainer of champions, Gallagher revealed the situation cropped up amidst rumors Groves wouldn't be ready for the final.
At the time, WBN Fighter of the Year Golovkin was in limbo due to his fight with Canelo Alvarez being called off for May 5th and negotiations getting off to a slow start for the rematch.
“George Groves got injured and there was talk of him being out. I messaged Kalle Sauerland and he’ll verify this," Gallagher exclusively told World Boxing News. "The Golovkin-Canelo fight fell apart so I said to Kalle see if 'GGG' wants to step in and fight Callum Smith in the WBSS Super Middleweight final.”
With both of the final bouts expected to take place in May before they were delayed, it made an ideal situation for a replacement for George Groves, Gallagher said: “We wanted to fight GGG because we want to fight the best. We went into the tournament to fight the best and no-one can ever deny that we’re scared of anyone or don’t want to fight anyone.”
Reserve Chris Eubank Jr. had initially been touted as a stand-in for Groves and it's since been confirmed as the case should either man be forced to pull out in the next few weeks.
Gallagher doesn’t hold back his fighters from testing their limits and would be open to Smith fighting any of the world's top contenders should he claim the coveted Ali Trophy.
“It’s foolish at times, fighters want to test themselves against the best in the world and that’s it - when the time’s right they will and they have done, their record shows that.
“Callum Johnson is the latest one for that and Callum Smith is in the tournament to fight the best in the world.
"He’s now fighting the number one super middleweight in the world and that’s what it’s all about," he added.
Chandler Waller is a staff writer for World Boxing News. Follow Chandler on Twitter @ChandlerWaller