DeGale to stay with trainer, says he’ll still be champion
By Scott Gilfoid: Former 2008 Olympic Gold Medalist for Britain James DeGale (10-1, 8 KO’s) says he’s going to stick it out with his trainer Jim McDonnell rather than sacking him and looking for someone else to train him after DeGale lost a controversial 12 round decision to Commonwealth super middleweight champion George Groves recently. DeGale says he failed to throw enough punches in the fight but he still felt he should have won the bout. I agree.
DeGale didn’t throw enough punches in the first four rounds but then was forced to chase a constantly running Groves around the ring for the last 12 rounds. DeGale says he hadn’t planned on Groves fighting in this manner, as he’s always been a fighter that comes at his opponents rather than running around the ring trying to avoid action. But it was clear that Groves didn’t have much choice but to run because when he would stop for any length of time, DeGale would punish him and get the better of him with combinations. It was literally a situation where Groves only had one option available to him – run, run and run in order to keep from getting knocked out. It’s a credit to his trainer Adam Booth that he for saw ahead of time that DeGale would be too powerful for Groves if his fighter were to go straight at him like he does with all of his opponents.
DeGale said this in an article at sportinglife.co: “I’m not going to change trainers because he’s brought me on this far and if it weren’t for him I wouldn’t be in this position…No, I’m not going to change. Maybe I was a bit too relaxed in the first six rounds, letting him [Groves] nick them. But I didn’t know George could be that negative. I’ve known George since he was a young boy and he’s always been brave and proud. I don’t get it. He never opened up. It’s a bit daft, I really don’t get it.”
DeGale should have gotten a clue that Groves was going to fight differently than he usually does when he heard that Groves was sparring with the talented Andre Dirrell. That was hint enough that Groves was going to fight defensively in the fight in order to keep from getting knocked out.
I’m in a agreement with DeGale. He doesn’t need a new trainer. He just needs to be aware that some of his opponents may choose to run and if he discovers that early, he needs to make adjustments by turning up his offense a couple of gears so that he can chase them down and knock them out. Groves doesn’t want a rematch with DeGale and it’s pretty clear why. DeGale knows what Groves will do and knows how to defeat this style. The element of surprise is completely gone now for Groves and he wouldn’t have any other schemes to fall back on that would help him beat DeGale.
It would be either Groves fighting in his old style of brawling, which would lead to him getting knocked out by DeGale, or he would choose to run again. DeGale knows how to defeat that running style now, hence Groves doesn’t want any part of DeGale. It was a one time trick and that was basically it for Groves. He can’t beat DeGale in rematch and doesn’t want any part of him. Groves will need DeGale in the future after DeGale captures one of the super middleweight titles, but DeGale won’t be throwing a bone to Groves because he’s not fighting a rematch with DeGale now. Groves won’t win a title on his own because he doesn’t have enough power and his running style is common place among the top fighters and easy to beat.
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