Groves says he’ll fight DeGale for a world title at some point in the future
By Scott Gilfoid: Undefeated British and Commonwealth champion George Groves (13-0, 10 KO’s) says he doesn’t plan on fighting a rematch with James DeGale (10-1, 8 KO’s) again until they fight for a world title and Groves points out that he won’t be fighting for a world title for at least 18 months. Groves doesn’t want any part of fighting DeGale again in the near term. Groves is satisfied with his 1 point win on two of the judges’ scorecards. I personally had DeGale winning by four rounds.
It sounds like a never situation in terms of DeGale rematch, because while I can see Groves getting a shot against one of the super middleweight world champions in the future if Groves is carefully matched and not put in with anyone like Sakio Bika or Andre Dirrell, both of which I see schooling Groves, then he’s just going to get beaten once he does fight for a world. I don’t see Groves matching up with the current champions Andre Ward, Carl Froch, Lucian Bute or Robert Stieglitz. I see Stieglitz as the weakest of the bunch by far and the one Groves will likely be aimed at, but even he would be more than a handful for Groves because of his power.
Speaking with the BBC Sport, Groves said “We [DeGale] will fight one day for the world title but it won’t be this year. I’m not ready for a world title but in 18 months time I will be.”
I think Groves is kidding himself. The only way he’ll be ready to fight for a world title is if one of the champions – Froch, Ward or Bute – move up in weight to light heavyweight, allowing Groves and possibly DeGale to fight for the vacant title. But that’s pretty far off and it’s going to require for one or more of the champions to move up in weight and vacate for Groves to get a shot. If he takes on Froch, Ward and Bute, Groves will get beat badly and that’s just the way it is. You can pretend that things will be different in 18 months time but they won’t. Groves is a decent fighter but he’s not in the same class as those guys. And I see DeGale as a much better pro than Groves.
What we saw Groves beating DeGale on was a gimmick where he used a lot of ring movement to edge rounds on the judge’s scoring. It took DeGale a little while to adjust to the movement, but once he did after the 4th round, it was essentially all DeGale for the last eight rounds. I had DeGale easily winning the Grove fight based on his superior power. In a rematch, Groves won’t have the element of surprise because the movement was really the only thing that Groves can do. He won’t be able to come up with anything new because he can’t slug it out with DeGale because he doesn’t have as good punching skills. It’s going to come down to whether or not Groves can punch with DeGale and he can’t. Running won’t work in a rematch, so Groves is going to be out of luck in that department.
At any rate, it all sounds really silly. Groves is talking like the character George Milton from John Steinbeck’s book Of Mice and Men. George is always telling his migrant friend Lennie Small about how one day they’re going to get a place of their own with rabbits and such. It never happens, of course. I think Groves won’t win a world title, at least not while Bute, Froch, Ward and Dirrell are around. The only title I can see Groves winning is if those guys move up and leave Groves to fight for a title against one of the top contenders left over like Bika. I can’t see Groves winning that fight. There might be a small chance that Groves and DeGale can come together to fight for a vacant title, but I wouldn’t count on it. And if Groves beats an obscure fighter for a vacant title, it won’t be the same as if Groves took on guys like Ward, Froch or Bute.
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