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George Groves vs James DeGale – Will it ever happen?

George Groves James DeGaleBy Simon Hirst: It has come to light recently that unbeaten super-middleweight George Groves offered £50,000 to fellow unbeaten super-middleweight James DeGale to fight him on the undercard of the David Haye vs John Ruiz bout on April 3rd.

For British fans, it would be a superb match-up with both putting their unbeaten records on the line, plus it is no secret they are fierce rivals from their amateur days, where Groves won a decision over DeGale before DeGale went on to win an Olympic gold medal.

If truth be told, I watched DeGale at the Olympics and have watched him turn professional and whilst he’s a prospect, his style doesn’t excite me. People criticised Joe Calzaghe for slapping and there are arguments for and against Joe’s style, but what you cannot argue with is Joe was exciting, relying more on his speed than power to throw flashy, point winning combinations. DeGale’s style isn’t nearly as busy as Calzaghe’s, not as effective and it’s hard to defend the accusations of critics saying he slaps. When he comes up against an opponent who matches up to him, he may have huge troubles to contend with. Enter George Groves.

Groves, who has more professional experience than DeGale, is a very good fighter and judging the two fighters, Groves is the fighter who shines through as the more exciting fighter. He has caught the eye of Adam Smith at SkySports, who rates him very highly for the future. Admittedly, Groves has a few improvements to make defence-wise, but overall, is the favourite to go on to big things.

It has been claimed by Sunsport that Booth made the offer to Warren and whilst it doesn’t state the actual answer to the offer, it indicates that it is a fight that will be made down the line. I hope the fight happens sooner than later because I don’t see both of the fighters getting to world title level. Groves has the potential to excel and backs up his claims, DeGale is very good at talking himself up, but talk is cheap. He can say he didn’t perform as well as he wanted and give a percentage of what we saw of him, but at the end of the day, the performance you give in the ring is what wins you fans and contributes to your legacy and reputation.

From what I’ve seen from ‘Chunky’, nothing tells me he’s going on to win a world title, maybe European at best. It worries me to read he has been training with Danny Williams and John McDermott. This to me is artificial training because he is faster than them and could probably improve his footwork slightly and movement, he won’t hurt them with power and when it comes to stepping in with a quick puncher with quick feet and good movement, how will this training benefit him?

Of course, he has a great promoter in Frank Warren who could guide him to the top without to many obstacles. However, once you’re at the top, the hard part is staying there and sooner or later; you have to face the best, unless your name is Sven Ottke.

We can only start judging these two in terms of potential when the nobodies fade and we see them face real experienced, worthy opponents. A list of the domestic fighters in the division is Tony Quigley, Paul Smith, Stevie McQuire, Brian Magee, Kenny Anderson and Tony Dodson. It is a tough division domestically, so some interesting fights lie ahead, but none more so than DeGale vs Groves. Whether the fight happens is dependant on how far they can reach their potential. Expect it to be around European level before these two meet, a super-middleweight version of Jamie Moore vs Ryan Rhodes if you like. My prediction at the moment, look for a Groves to be the classier fighter and win by a couple of rounds.

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