The most eagerly awaited UK domestic tear up in quite some time. James Degale and George Groves have a long history, they go back a long way, and they've always hated each other. This is no "made up" rivalry for the media in order to sell the fight, it's very genuine and who ever wins out of these two will have the bragging rights.
Most people are thinking along the same lines regarding the result of the fight and the appeal of both fighters. They hate the cockeyness of James Degale but think he is the better boxer and has progressed more since turning professional. Then there's George Groves, most people think he's a much more likable guy then James Degale, but think he hasn't improved that much since turning pro, and see little difference in his boxing ability from when he was an amatuer. The higher percentage of people believe Degale will win this fight.
For those that don't know, Groves holds a win over Degale from the amatuer days and although Groves did win that fight, it wasn't by a big margin, it was a very even, "tit for tat", amatuer boxing match. Most people, including me, thought that Degale did enough to get the win, that's how close it was. Watch the Groves Vs Degale Amatuer Fight.
On the plus side for George Groves he has been out in Miami sparring with Andre Dirrell, and Groves did show signs that it was a tough experience by sporting a black eye. Dirrell, at this moment in time is a much better fighter then Degale so the sparring with Dirrell will be of huge benefit to George Groves.
James Degale has been sparring with Nathan Cleverly, who himself is a good boxer, and does have a stone or two weight advantage over Degale. Nathan Cleverly also has a similar boxing style to Groves so this could be very helpful for Degale come fight night.
James Degale and George Groves Square up. Photo Credit: JRfotography
Everyone is convinced that James Degale is going to win this fight easy but I'm not so sure. I think Degale has more boxing skill and more potential then Groves, but there is a mental edge for Groves in this fight. In my opinion, in all the interviews I have seen where Degale and Groves are being interviewed together it looks like Degale is secretly very concerned, even worried about this fight.
Degale has been stooping very low with some of his comments to Groves, and he appears to be attempting to try and either get a little mental advantage, or convince himself that he's got the tools and has progressed enough to beat Groves easily..I think Degale knows that this is going to be his toughest fight so far, and somewhere, behind the many layers of Degales bravado he is more concerned then he's making out. With the noises he's making, he's thinking it makes him look confident, but it's actually doing the opposite and making him look like he's beaten mentally.
Can Degale tackle the mental demons? We shall find out whether Degale's just a good fighter against opponents he knows aren't as good as he is, or if he really has the ability when his opponent is more evenly matched to his own abilitys. Can he rise to the challenge, we don't know yet because he hasn't been tested. George Groves is James Degales old foe and Groves claims to have his number, he does hold a win over him to suggest that, but this was a very long time ago. However, it does still give Groves a little mental advantage in my opinion. This fight will answer lots of questions about both fighters. I can't wait to see it.
There is so much emotion, bragging rights, and history involved with this fight that it's a very hard one to call. Rather then get beat these two will basically scarifice everything rather then lose to each other.
George Groves defense is too open which spells danger. Although Groves could win if he boxes clever and uses his boxing skills to full effect. This is a hard thing to do with such an emotional fight.
I think James Degale will win late, either by stoppage or George Groves corner will pull him out.