Groves: I took away DeGale’s confidence
By Scott Gilfoid: Commonwealth super middleweight champion George Groves figures that his win over James DeGale (13-1, 9 KO’s) took something away from him in terms of his confidence because he hasn’t looked like the same fighter since then. DeGale has fight coming up this Saturday night against Fulgencio Zuniga (25-6-1, 22 KO’s) for the vacant WBC Silver super middleweight title at the Bonus Arena, Hull, Yorkshire, United Kingdom.
Groves said to thesun.co.uk “Since fighting me he [DeGale] hasn’t impressed much. He’s confidence fighter and I took away all of his confidence. He also hasn’t been fighting the right opponents.”
I do agree that DeGale’s confidence doesn’t seem to be what it was a year ago before his questionable loss to Groves. However, I think a big part of that has to do with DeGale purposely making himself more low key because he didn’t like playing the bad guy in hyping the Groves fight, because it led to him receiving a lot of criticism from boxing fans. So what Groves sees as a lack of confidence is really more of a case of DeGale trying to be more reserved so he doesn’t come off as an arrogant fighter like he did for the Groves fight.
DeGale has won all three of his fights since the loss to Groves. DeGale didn’t look good in his fights with Piotr Wilczewski and Hadillah Mohoumadi, but that wasn’t because of his confidence being shattered. It was because he doesn’t have the power, foot movement or speed to dominate the good super middleweights. DeGale can destroy the mediocre super middleweights, but when you put him in against someone with good basic skills, he struggles. I’m not talking about really good super middleweights or great ones.
DeGale is struggling against the good ones and that’s more of a case of him simply not having the talent to beat those guys with ease. Believe me, DeGale would have struggled just as bad against Mohoumadi and Wilczewski even before DeGale’s supposedly confidence shattering loss to Groves. Those guys were simply too close to DeGale’s talent level, so he struggled against them. You could see in both of those fights that DeGale had his foot to the floor and was fighting at the height of his ability, but he couldn’t dominate them. A lack of confidence has nothing to do with that. DeGale always would have struggled against them.
Groves is no better than DeGale, but the difference is he’s been matched against weaker opposition since his questionable win over DeGale. Since Groves beat DeGale, he’s been matched against DeGale victim Paul Smith and Francisco Sierra. Those guys aren’t as good as the fighters that DeGale fought, so of course Groves beat them easily. But for him to be talking as if he’s coming from up high in discussing DeGale’s problems, I think he’s not seeing the reality of his own situation clearly. Groves has been matched against much weaker opposition than DeGale, and now Groves is fighting a 43-year-old in Glen Johnson in his next fight on December 15th.
You’re seeing Groves in with an old guy instead of someone young like the guys that DeGale has been facing. A victory over Johnson won’t say anything about Groves other than he can beat carefully matched opposition. I doubt Groves will be matched against anyone dangerous until he gets a title shot, and even they he’ll likely be positioned against arguably the weakest of the super middleweight champions in WBO champ Arthur Abraham instead of the better ones. You think Groves will be put in with Carl Froch or Andre Ward? It’s not going to happen, believe me. If he did he’d get knocked out or badly dominated. He’s not had the preparation for those guys and he’ll out of his class if those fights were to happen. They won’t, of course.