Home Boxing News Groves vs DeGale preview and Ringnews24.com predictions!

Groves vs DeGale preview and Ringnews24.com predictions!


In what is the most anticipated super-middleweight domestic match up in years, James DeGale and George Groves will finally square off against one another at the 02 arena on Saturday in a contest that should turn out to be a barn burner!

Juergen Braehmer recently pulled out of his WBO championship contest with Welsh challenger, Nathan Cleverly after an alleged cut in training which has forced the WBO’s hands to strip him of the title and automatically grant Cleverly as champion. Unfortunately for Nathan, the Groves vs DeGale grudge match has largely overshadowed his championship fight since the beginning, but not without good reason!

Both super-middleweight prospects have been arch enemies for a long time, way back since their amateur days when Groves scored a victory over DeGale. Depending on who you ask, some may say that Groves has DeGale’s number. Others say that DeGale should have actually got the nod.

Like the result of their amateur contest, their upcoming professional bout has equally divided opinions among the boxing fans. And this is before the event has even taken place!

‘Chunky’ James DeGale made his debut in 2009. His first bout made little positive impression on the British public when the Hammersmith boxer decided to box a cautious performance, yet, always looked as if he could get his opponent out of there at any time. Boos rang out during the duration of DeGale’s first match, and many were quick to predict that he would become a  flop, somebody who lacks a fighter’s heart, hunger and killer instinct. However, public perception rapidly changed when DeGale, obviously taking notice of the reaction of the fans (or lack thereof!), began to soon pile up the knockouts! Promoter, Frank Warren hyped up DeGale’s bout against Sam Horton as his first real test, a contest that was for the WBA international super-middleweight title. DeGale got the job done in five rounds, and after a quick defense against Carl Dilks, faced Paul Smith for the British title in Liverpool, Smith’s own back yard. DeGale racked up another win, and grabbed the British title by stopping Smith in the 9th round after a barrage of punches forced the referee to stop the fight.  A bout between him and George Groves was really heating up at this  point, and DeGale was back in the ring three months later at the beginning of March, 2011. After a mundane but easy performance against a stay busy opponent in Alpay Kobal, the fight between DeGale and Groves was soon set!

George Groves made his entrance into professional boxing a year earlier than DeGale, in 2008. While his campaign in the sport has been, somewhat, lower profile than DeGale’s, Groves’s current unbeaten reign is nothing to sniff at! Unlike DeGale, Groves has already had the experience of fighting abroad, and has fought in such famous destinations as Las Vegas and Germany. He won the Commonwealth title in his ninth professional fight against Charles Adamu and showed grit and determination after being floored to come back victoriously over Kenny Anderson, a fight that has garnered a lot of criticism from armchair boxing fans stating that Groves has no defense and will be an easy target for somebody of DeGale’s style. But let’s not forget that Groves also holds the honour of having  that win over DeGale in their amateur fight, and perhaps there is a chance that this could be playing in the back of DeGale’s mind.

In their face to face encounter on SKY television’s ‘Ringside’ program in March, DeGale attempted to win the war of words by making fun of Groves’s appearance and looks, but ended up stumbling over his own words more than once, while George looked in control all the way through the session. DeGale challenged Groves to a bet that he would knock him out in as little as 4 rounds, and when George immediately stood up to take on that bet, DeGale quickly changed the subject to George’s tie! Many granted George the first round of their psychological warfare.

Not much has been revealed about James DeGale’s training, but Groves has been to the States recently to train with slickster, Andre Dirrell – and came back with a trophy, a black eye to prove it! Dirrell has praised Groves’s determination and ring generalship, but was quick to point out that the Londoner lacks head movement. Groves has always been known to be a fighter who relies on will and power, often sacrificing his own defense to get a knockout, so this factor is nothing new to those well versed in George Groves’s career, and of the sport.

DeGale, brash as he always has been, is the one that predictably has done most of the talking, labelling Groves with below the belt comments such as “ugly ginger kid”, bringing his hair colour into the equation and quite possibly offending every fan watching with that coloured hair! DeGale seems to already be looking past George Groves and has said that he will be moving on to bigger things after Saturday’s bout while leaving Groves sleeping on the canvas. A lot of people have been impressed with DeGale’s wins over Paul Smith and Sam Horton. Frank Warren certainly hasn’t been afraid to not bother applying the brakes for his boxer’s career just yet, either. And we all know that Warren is quite well known for being a little hesitant with his stable of fighters. Sorry, Frank! But, perhaps he already knows that James DeGale is destined for stardom. Time will tell.

Will DeGale’s boxer style be too much? Did the fight with Kenny Anderson show a telling vulnerability in George Groves?  These questions should be answered in a few days.

This writer’s heart is going for Groves. I don’t think DeGale has been tested against the type of fire and intensity that Groves can bring, and I am not sure if he can handle it at this such short stage, either. However, as there is a heart, there is always a mind. And my mind is telling me that DeGale will be the one to come out on top based on the history of boxing. When a combatant with a pure boxer style faces somebody with a pure fighter style, the pure boxer is victorious most of the time. DeGale’s speed could very well be the telling factor, and a stoppage is very realistic for him. But if Groves lands a punch right on the button then it could be lights out!

The build up before the bout may also have played a part, especially if it is valid that people believe that Groves may be getting to DeGale.

It really is too close to call!

Here is what the Ringnews24.com panel has to say:

‘Budweiser’ (head of Ringnews24.com): I think this fight may be won in the opening 4 rounds before most likely going on to a points victory for DeGale or Groves. If DeGale comes out on top in the opening 4 rounds I think his confidence will grow and he will be too classy for Groves, with a late possible stoppage due to Groves getting sloppy and making mistakes. DeGale has the faster hands and can throw nice combinations when he gets going. How good will Groves defence be? If Groves comes out on top after 4 rounds i think DeGale confidence will drop. If things don’t go DeGale’s way I don’t think he has the experience or plan B to change things. DeGale’s a hot head and i think his bottle goes and all tactics could go out the window in this fight, a bit like Lee McAllister v John Murray. So, who do I pick? I’m going to With George Groves. I think Groves has had the beating in the interviews before the fight and has already got under DeGale’s skin  Yes, a fight’s only won in the ring, and interviews means nothing, but it must have a psychological effect on DeGale’s mind set. I can see Groves frustrating DeGale, and with the fact that Groves has already beaten DeGale in the amateurs, DeGale’s head goes into overdrive and that forces him into making a lot of mistakes which Groves will take advantage of. Will DeGale be able to hold his nerve? Will Groves defence be good enough ?

I cant wait to see one of the best British match ups of 2011.

Chris Milton: DeGale v Groves, the most anticipated all UK bout since Benn v Eubank. Unfortunately, I do not see this fight being as remotely competitive as the Benn, Eubank series. DeGale has handled his opposition with minimal fuss. His performance against Paul Smith was one of a seasoned pro not a novice of nine fights. Contrast that to Groves recent performances which, although showing great heart and determination, showed a lack of defensive nous and non existent head movement. DeGale, on the other hand, has gone from strength to strength with trainer, Mcdonnel looking better with every fight. Look for the fight to start out slow, with DeGale taking command from the third round on with a stoppage in favour of DeGale around the 9th round.

Jamie Street: A fight that hasn’t created so much intrigue since the days of Benn versus Eubank but with one difference not many are calling this fight 50/50. Most are picking DeGale’s ring craft and speed to overcome Groves’s aggression and power. This fight may not be as one sided as the bookmakers and experts may have you believe, however, Groves will have to do a lot right on the night to win this fight and probably weather a storm or two in the process. DeGale is likely to use his speed and footwork to outmanoeuvre Groves and stay out of range whilst landing peppering jabs and combinations on the forward marching Groves a pattern I see continuing all night and which will eventually take its toll forcing the referee to call a stop to this fight late on with a brave but beaten Groves badly marked up but not hurt. DeGale at present seems to have the better boxing brain, he can read the situation and adapt but maybe this is a false reckoning as we are yet to see him tested and put under pressure where he needs to change his game plan and or his approach. To win this fight ‘St George’ is going to have to have shown vast improvement in his defence and his tactics if he is to dethrone DeGale, Speed is one of ‘Chunky’s’ most valuable assets and Groves must neutralise this. George must build for a distance fight, attacking DeGales body behind a high guard early on whilst cutting off the ring effectively to pin him down. I feel Groves must be relentless in his body attack for the first half of this fight dragging DeGale’s guard down and taking his feet from under him. This is the key to beating DeGale, slowing him down and applying sustained pressure. If this can be achieved then the second half of the fight should allow Grove to land the big shot to DeGale’s head but these shot must be followed as powerful combination may force DeGale’s tired legs to wilt and force the third man in the ring to bring a halt to proceedings. George Groves defence rather than his offence will be the catalyst in him winning the fight. High Guard and extremely good head movement removes DeGale’s scoring, but not damaging punches. It is this writers opinion that DeGale should force A late stoppage after Groves takes to many continuous unanswered punches, Groves has to do so much right on the night to win this and I’m not sure he quite has the experience and ability to bring everything required together all at once.

Full Prediction DeGale TKO 9.

Chris Kyle: I see Groves scare against the tough Kenny Anderson and DeGale’s comprehensive win against Paul Smith being slightly deceptive when predicting the outcome of this contest Anderson came to fight (and FIGHT he did!) whereas DeGale’s defining night against Smith saw him fighting a man who didn’t seem like the fighter he usually was. It was as if Paul didn’t turn up that night and doubted his own ability against the reputed ‘Next Big Thing’. Maybe it was more a case of James not allowing Smith to fight his fight but I’m not so sure. Groves has now faced adversity (overcoming it ruthlessly and impressively) and has surely learnt how to adapt should that situation arise again. But DeGale will find himself at a loss if something similar to what Groves went through should befall him on saturday. But, James Degale IS an amazing fighter with breathtaking speed and skills. While I think Groves is the bigger natural puncher DeGale’s combinations have the same effect as the lead in George’s shots. My feeling is that, talk aside, James has no intention of knocking George out in 4 rounds. His plan will be to risk the audiences disapproval by boxing a smart fight on the outside, occasionally coming in for swift attacks and then back out before Groves has a chance of landing on his way to a lopsided points win. And he may leave the arena in the same way he left his debut fight, with the crowd booing his exit. But, as with Naseem Hamed, despite the boos his stock will soar because everyone will pay to see a big mouth shut.

Scott Graveson: A year ago I felt Groves was going to be a superstar, a real king of the ring though of the last 12 months or so he has been shown to be incredibly flawed and actually seems to regressing. At the same time as Groves has regressed DeGale has progressed and really come along leaps and bounds. Groves, under Booth, seems to be moving backwards and unable to box going backwards, DeGale will swarm him and stop him around the middle rounds when the referee is forced to step in.

‘Londoner’: This is one of the most highly anticipated fights of the year. Not just in the UK but worldwide it seems. I speak to many American fans who are just as excited about this one as us British fans are. This is possibly the biggest British super middleweight clash since Joe Calzaghe vs Robin Reid or even the wars between Chris Eubank, Nigel Benn and Steve Collins. It seems fans are split down the middle when it comes to predicting the result. Personally, i can’t see past a James DeGale stoppage/KO win. I am open to the idea that George Groves can win and believe it is a 50-50 fight. But, in my opinion, James Degale is the best prospect in British boxing. He has fought only 10 fights and is arguably already beyond prospect level. He has 8 KO wins from his 10 fights. George Groves has a similar record of 10 KO wins from 12 fights. I think we will see a cracking fight between two guys who would love to beat the other. My prediction: DeGale TKO 10.
David Allen: I think this will be a short explosive fight,with DeGale bombing out Groves inside four rounds.Since both turning pro, DeGale has gone on leaps and bounds and seems far more adapted to the pro game than Groves.Where DeGale has looked more impressive on each outing,the same cannot be said for Groves who has struggled in his last couple of fights.

Rob Day: I see this fight as similar to the Michale Watson vs Nigel Benn clash in the 90’s, stylewise not the same, but two middleweight prospects meeting early on in their careers. At the time, Benn was favourite but the quieter, less hyped Watson pulled off a Great victory. I think George Groves can do what Watson did back then. The easy prediction would be to go for DeGale and its understandable why he is favourite. I just think that George Groves has his ‘number’. Close fight and I’m going for George to work his way to a decision victory.

‘Brooklynbrawler’: The likely victor in this fight has swung opinions back and forth every time one of them steps into the ring. Right now, DeGale appears to have the edge, despite Groves earlier amateur victory. He’ll continue to divide opinion outside the ring, but there’s no doubting the guy has talent. I have a feeling that DeGale’s arrogance will be his downfall inside the ring, as he tends to lead from unusual angles, with his hands down, and a decent calibre of fighter (someone significantly better than the people he has been in with so far, which has not been a typically high standard) will be able to exploit this very easily. Unfortunately for Groves, I feel that he isn’t going to be the guy to take advantage of it however. He looked fantastic when he broke onto the scene, but he hasn’t developed as quickly as many would have liked, and imo, if anything has gone backwards.

DeGale by late stoppage (ref stoppage).

Dave Murphy: My take is that 5 years since the Groves upset in the Ams is a long time, and I think Groves took advantage of an overconfident DeGale that night. Since then, we’ve seen that Groves chin and suspect defense might not be as easy to overcome in the Pros, and from listening to Groves and Booth they haven’t responded to Chunky’s talking like I would have expected, some think it a sign of confidence and maybe their right, but I don’t think so. I also wonder about the perforated eardrum that Groves suffered earlier this year. I think DeGale will fight smart and bury him with slapping(but scoring) punches and win a comfortable decision. I have a bad feeling it won’t be the fireworks we’re hoping for. Let’s hope I’m wrong!
‘Joe KO’: It’s great to see to young prospects both British fight each other so early in there careers. It is a domestic fight, but I can see the winner going on straight to a world title, possibly. I think the winner will be DeGale by late stoppage, maybe a year or 2 early for Groves, who is only 22. People forget that.

The most hyped domestic fight ever!