Chris Eubank JR may still get a crack at winning the World Super Series despite losing an unanimous points decision to George Groves at the end of a riveting fight.
The WBA super-middleweight champion kept his crown but was taken to hospital after dislocating his left shoulder in an absorbing final round.
It was successfully put back in place but Groves now faces a race against time to be fit for the decider in June.
The summer showdown has a £6million purse on offer with the winner putting the lion’s share of £4.3m into his bank balance.
Groves now boats a record of 28 wins, 20 inside the distance, with three defeats which were all in world title fights, and he will be desperate to regain full fitness and be in perfect shape for the occasion.
He is slated to fight the winner of Saturday’s second semi-final in Germany between Liverpool’s Callum Smith and Juergen Braehmer but it is believed that organisers are extremely reluctant to postpone the final if he cannot meet the deadline.
Instead they may turn to Eubank Jr and offer him the opportunity to step in as a replacement.
Of course, the Brighton-based boxer first has to recover from his own injuries inflicted in a brutal, bruising contests in front of a sell-out crowd at the Manchester Arena.
Boxing stars like Ricky Hatton and Tyson Fury were ringside to enjoy the non-stop action which saw both contestant refusing to give any quarter.
Eubank Jr fought courageously after suffering an horrific cut to his right eye after a clash of heads in the third round.
He claimed he was head butted by Groves although it is more likely that he was caught by accident as he rushed in to take the attack to the Londoner.
Blood was pouring from the wound for the rest of the fight and Eubank Jr will have to hope it wasn’t deep enough to also prevent him from fighting in the World Super Series final if the phone rings and he is given the opportunity.
If both British boxers are ruled out it may well be that tournament organisers have no option to delay their showpiece event.
It would be bizarre if the loser of the semi-final between Smith and Braehmer was thrown a lifeline, even if that fight is also an absolute belter and the difference on the judges’ scorecards is minimal.