The war of words have have now ceased and tonight the fighting commences, when British super middleweight champion James DeGale and commonwealth champion George Groves go head to head in one of the most eagerly anticipated domestic fights for many a year.
The two former Dale Youth ABC stablemates, who were matched together as amateurs in 2006, when Groves beat two time ABA champion (2004 and 2005) DeGale to win the ABA title himself that year and then DeGale surpassed all amateur gongs by winning a Gold medal at the Beijing 2008 Olympics.
Now with only hours to go until the climax of this six-year feud and arguments are settle with fists is at the O2 Arena, it seems opinion is mixed on who will be victorious?
BritishBoxers asked some of our friends in the boxing trade, to give us their verdict on the fight outcome.
DeGale v Groves – who will win win and why?
It’s a good fight! Degale is a future world champion and Groves a future British champion, This is about levels, a boxer Degale, beats a puncher like Groves, every time!” – Duke McKenzie, former British, European and three weight world champion.
Degale is a level above Groves in my opinion. As long as James keeps his head and used his skills and doesn’t get drawn into a brawl, he will win and win well. Probably stop Groves in 6.” – Stephen Smith British and Commonwealth featherweight champion.
I have to go with James as he impressed me with his win over Paul Smith. Whoever wins won’t be too far from a World title shot. It’s going to be a cracking night of boxing.” – Ashley Theophane – British light-welterweight champion.
There’s something about Groves that’s making me sway to his side and it’s the fact that he’s got under Degale’s skin. He’s also beaten him before so I’m going for Groves, plus he’s been in the trenches before with Anderson, Degail hasn’t and I think it’s gonna be that kind of fight.” – Bobby Rimmer – Boxing trainer.
I think DeGale will win possibly by stoppage in the mid to late rounds. however i don’t think its a one horse race by any means. i think the Anderson fight was a good learning fight for Groves n he definitely has a chance but i do think DeGale is too sharp n too slick.” – Matthew Macklin, British and European champion.
Good fight and its all about timing in my eyes, Groves needs more time to grow and get experience. James Degale is nowhere the finished article but at this stage has proven the better of the two. Look where Groves carries his lead left hand. He is in danger of eating Degales right hand jab all night. If we look on George’s face we see his left eye has been damaged in sparring with southpaws like Andre Dirrell, so I’m fearful that he will get busted up with jabs and right hooks to slow him down. The Heart of Groves is that of a warrior he embodies that bulldog spirit and has proved character to suck it up. any man that can grit it out and can pop fast shots in his manner can knock out Degale with that fast right come left hook. This battle will become interesting after four rounds are complete and when the advise of the corner becomes needed. Both Jimmy McDonald and Adam Booth really study the game. So both will know the other guys weaknesses. I wish this fight happened a year down the road but right now I got to favour the speed and technical skill of Degale to be a little too much and little too awkward for the Groves and will beat a gallant Warrior on his feet by the tenth in a fight that really should have happened in two years time.” – Spencer Fearon, promoter and former pro boxer.
From training with Degale has an amateur, you could tell he had the class to make it to the top as an amateur. i.e (Olympic gold medalist) But seeing both turn pro, Groves seemed to adapt the best. As of late though, DeGale has fast forwarded his transition has a pro and is now British Champion. But however has much I like Groves as a person, I think DeGale takes this one.” – Gary Sykes, British super featherweight champion.
Degale for me, he is too skilled for Groves. He made ‘Smigga’ (Paul Smith) look like a novice and we all no that he ain’t. Or it could be the worse fight ever and be a draw!” – Derry Matthews, English lightweight champion.
I think the fight is more even than a lot of people think! Degale is putting a lot of pressure on himself! Even though I’m very close to Adam Booth, I think on current form James will win late or on points.” – Wayne Alexander, former British and European light-middleweight champion.
I am going for Degale! He’s sharper, slicker and a good boxer… But groves is a good boxer also! But I’m going Degale to stop him in the 9th or 10th round.” – Rocky Fielding, Prizefighter Super-Middleweights II champion.
I think Groves wins because he hits so hard! I fancy a mid to late stoppage!” – Ashley Sexton British flyweight champion.
The form book is strongly in DeGale’s favour, by dint of a classy performance by the Olympic champion on his last time out over the championship distance, in Dec 2010, when he took the British title from Paul Smith in Liverpool. Groves is an aggressive stylist with defensive frailties, exposed in his ragged defence of the Commonwealth crown against Kenny Anderson last November. Groves was floored in that contest, but came back to stop the tough Scotsman in the sixth round. Slick southpaw stylist DeGale has not been hurt yet in his professional career, but this could be the fight which tests that mettle. A late stoppage or points victory for DeGale is likely. While it lasts, though, it should be a thriller.” – Gareth A Davies, Boxing Correspondent, Daily Telegraph/Sunday Telegraph.
It is a tough one for both men. Conventional wisdom goes with DeGale as he’s barely been hit in his pro career. Groves is being written off due to the Kenny Anderson fight and has quite rightly pointed out that people are wrong to judge him on that one bout. I agree with George but the fact is that he has been hit a few of his contests and has a leakier defence than DeGale. It could work in George’s favour, though, as he knows how to dig things out when the going gets tough. Bottom line, we are going to find out what happens when things go against DeGale as George will have his moments. If James is as good as his word and can grit the tough patches out then it points to a win for ‘Chunky’, who has given Groves praise by acknowledging his bravery.” – Terry Dooley boxing writer.
Personally I think James DeGale will put on a memorable display outclassing the overrated Groves and leaving him wondering about his future in the game. Had Kenny Anderson had longer to prepare for his fight with Groves, I don’t believe this fight would ever have happened. This is ‘Chunky’s’ time to put his boxing skills up there alongside his comments – Show it in the ring! If it is a tear up I can see DeGale KO’ing Groves in just three rounds!” – Andrew Millwall founder and President of the Worldwide Weekly Boxing Predictions league.
As much as I want Groves to win, I believe DeGale will win the fight in five or six rounds. They say you are only as good as your last fight, and the way that DeGale dismantled Paul Smith (a world ranked operator) with such brutal efficiency suggests that he is a man destined for the potential big time. Unless Groves can plug the obvious defensive leaks that were most prominent during the Anderson fight, I feel James will take him apart with ease. The hand-speed may be too much for the “Saint”, who I feel has to stay close and smother the British champ’s work to prevent him from establishing an effective rhythm if he has any real chance of winning the fight.” – Jamie Albrecht – Freelance Boxing Jourilist.
British Boxers Fans views
I think Groves starts to get inside Degale’s jab after 3 rounds, working James’s body and drawing him into a fire-fight (Groves territory) both exchange heavy shots for a few rounds ending with a Groves KO win round 6.” – Nick Boycott.
DeGale hasn’t been in with anyone as good as Anderson so compared to groves he’s untested as a pro…. So if he unravels before our eyes. That’s the only way I see Groves getting anything…. Please unravel James.” – Tony Peareth.
Degale to win 10 round stoppage or 12 round UD /or long-shot -Groves via stoppage within 6 rounds.” – Brian James.