James DeGale has said he is glad that rival George Groves defeated him as an amateur, even though he believes he should have won it anyway, stating that the pair wouldn’t be in this situation if things had played out different!
The British super-middleweight champion, also insists that he will shake Groves hand when its over and move on with his career. The London rivals meet at the O2 Arena on Saturday night in an eagerly awaited double title showdown for DeGales British title and Groves’ Commonwealth strap.
“People are talking about this fight because there’s genuine dislike between us, it’s a genuine grudge match,” said DeGale.
“The bad blood is real, we don’t like each other. It goes back years and that gives the fight a different feel to it.
“That defeat in the amateurs is the only thing he’s got on me. I don’t think I lost it.
“I thought I was so far ahead that I took my foot off the gas in the last round.
“I was showboating, sticking out my chin. Maybe the old judges didn’t like it – they’re all 70 or 80 years old.
“I’m glad George beat me because if he didn’t, we wouldn’t be in this situation now.
“All the mind games, the banter, the needle – I love it. I know this is getting to George. The trash talking is part of boxing. If there were two George Groves’ at a press conference, this fight wouldn’t sell.”
DeGale is prepared to bury the hatchet after Saturday’s contest.
“Of course I’ll shake hands with him after, win or lose,” he said.
“I don’t know if it will be the end of the bad blood though, you’ll have to ask his camp. I just want to scratch this itch and then I’ll move on in my career.”
James DeGale vs George Groves Amateur Fight (Full) Eric Guy