CHRIS EUBANK Jr is ready to sink his teeth into George Groves in their mouth-watering World Boxing Super Series super-middleweight semi-final.

Brighton’s IBO champion exchanged verbal blows with WBA champion Groves in London’s Savoy Hotel yesterday in the first official head-to-head.

And the 28-year-old is clearly relishing the sold out Battle of Britain showdown next February 17 at Manchester Arena.

Eubank Jr was literally rubbing his hands in anticipation as he sat at the top table alongside father Chris senior and trainer Ronnie Davies.

Before the introductions had even been made he was asking if Groves was ready and at the face-to-face photo shoot immediately after he was declaring “I can smell fear up here”.

It was confident stuff and he told The Argus just why he believes it is Groves, 29, who has bitten off more than he can chew.

Eubank Jr said: “I am ready to eat. I am ready to feast.”

Groves (27-3, 20 KOs) has promised the power which saw him beat Jamie Cox with a body shot in his quarter-final, allied to his skills and experience, will be too much for Eubank Jr (26-1,20 KOs), who he claims lacks ability and pedigree.

But Eubank Jr said: “He’s a strong kid but I’ve fought a lot of strong fighters. It takes a lot more than just strength to beat a man.

“You can’t have a slice of the pie - you have to have the whole thing and he does not have the whole pie.

“I’ve got the pie, the apple, the custard and the ice cream on top.”

He added: “I am ready to start my journey.

“This is a fight that propels me, this is a fight that puts me on the boxing map forever.

“This is the fight that turns all the doubters, haters and keyboard warriors into fans, or if not fans, it turns them into people who cannot deny me the respect I deserve.”

Eubank Jr’s IBO strap is the most lightly regarded of the world belts but Groves’ WBA title will be up for grabs when they meet in the Super Series semi-final which is not one which any fight fan can sniff at.

And Eubank Jr insists he is hungry to add to his collection.

He said: “I am coming for all the belts. It does not matter whose got them, what titles they are – it’s collection season 2018.”

There was plenty of give and take on the top table but it never descended to the levels plumbed by some fighters and their camps in recent years. Both boxers have seen opponents suffer life-changing injuries in recent fights.

Nick Blackwell was placed in an induced coma after his British title loss to Eubank while Eduard Gutknecht suffered a bleed on the brain after his defeat to Groves.

Eubank Jr said: “I respect every fighter and anyone who gets in the ring deserves respect.

“George has achieved great things, he’s a world champion and deserves respect.

“There’s a back and forth but it’s nothing vulgar nor disrespectful, it’s just me stating the facts in my opinion.

“All I am saying is what I’m going to do and George knows it. I’ve seen it in his demeanour and how he talks.”

He added: “He can try and pull the wool over people’s eyes but we both know what has happened in the past.”

Eubank Jr was referring to their previous sparring sessions, when he insists he had the upper hand and has the video to prove it.

Groves, 29, reckons what has happened before is of little consequence now but Eubank Jr believes it gives him the psychological advantage.

Eubank Jr added: “We have done some serious rounds.

“He knows what I am so to go up there and say I am not legitimate and it is going to be a different fight to anyone who I have ever faced - I’ve already faced him.

“Of course it’s a psychological advantage and that’s the thing with Groves, his psychological demeanour is erratic and vulnerable.

“He needs that security and support, the love of his fans and his team to pump him up and say he can do it.

“He needs all that to perform. I don’t.

“As a champion you need to rely on yourself and nobody else to become a great.”