DeGale: Groves won’t be helped by sparring with Dirrell
By Sean McDaniel: Unbeaten British super middleweight champion and former 2008 Olympic Gold Medalist James DeGale (10-0, 8 KO’s) isn’t impressed in the least that undefeated Commonwealth super middleweight champion George Groves (12-0, 10 KO’s) is sparring with super middleweight contender and former Super Six tournament participant Andre Dirrell (19-1, 13 KO’s) to help get the 23-year-old Groves ready for his fight with DeGale on May 21st at the O2 Arena, in Greenwich, London.
DeGale, 25, notes that Dirrell, while impressed with Groves for the most part, pointed out that Groves doesn’t have great hand speed and fails to move his head enough. DeGale says “How on earth is he going to beat me if he doesn’t move his head and isn’t quick enough.”
DeGale raises a good point. How can Groves honestly beat him if he doesn’t have much in the way of hand speed and comes in with his head not moving at all to get out of the way of shots? You’d have to make DeGale a heavy favorite in this fight no matter how many times Groves spars with Dirrell.
It simply takes too long to really show improvement no matter how good your sparring partners are. When you’re dealing with a fighter that is superior to you the way that DeGale is with Groves, it’s not going to help him nearly enough to put him in with Dirrell. Besides, Dirrell and DeGale don’t have a similar fighting style. Both are southpaws but DeGale is much more offensively minded than Dirrell and throws more combinations than the American fighter.
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