Carl Froch on Groves v DeGale

18 05 2011

The Countdown is ON!!

16 05 2011

The countdown is on for the long-awaited clash between George Groves and James Degale – this Saturday at the O2 Arena in London and live on Sky Box Office Pay-Per-View.

The weigh-in for the fight is on Friday at 1pm at the O2 Indigo (O2 Arena) and is open to the public (and free).

Nelson: DeGale has it all to lose

14 05 2011


I hope the red mist has cleared for James DeGale because if he loses to George Groves, I fear for him. I really do.

Of course in terms of age he is young enough to come back but mentally I wonder what losing will do to him.

No fighter I can think of has been under this much pressure after only 10 procfessional fights. I can’t think of anyone who has been in this situation, where his confidence, his performance and his ego are being scrutinised so early in his career.

DeGale will be ashamed if he loses to Groves, I am certain. He will have been going to bed at night thinking of how bad it felt when he lost to him in the amatuers and he will be dreading having to go through all that again.

He looked a mug back then and if it happens again here, he’ll look an even bigger mug.

Part of that is down tothe way he has behaved in the build-up, but part of it is also because he has that Olympic gold medal and the expectations that go with it.

Even Amir Khan, who brought our only medal back from Athens in 2004, didn’t have to live with that burden – and he had it tough enough.

The only situation I can equate it to that I am aware of is Nigel Benn’s career. When he lost to Michael Watson he had leave the country and when he lost to Chris Eubank he did the same.

He couldn’t bear being in England, it was that painful, that hard to take. And I know Eubank and Benn both say they’re cool now, I don’t believe that; deep down. I am sure Benn is still fuming.

I remember when my old mate Herol Graham beat Mark Kaylor and it had a similar effect on him; he was the tough lad from East End who had lost to an absolute fancy dan in Herol. Kaylor boxed again but never won a big fight and was just never the same.


I can honestly see that happening to DeGale, even so early on. He has put himself in a position where defeat will be a real bitter pill to swallow.

That’s why I think Groves did the right thing in going to Miami beforehand. Just being in England, DeGale would have had the world and his wife asking him about the fight, encouraging him, wishing him luck, just mentioning it.

That is nice but believe me, it puts more and more pressure on you. And they will have been living, eating, drinking this fight as it is, 24/7.

I would much rather be in George’s position because no-one really expects him to win. If he does it will do him the world of good but if he loses, and comes out with some respect, he knows he can come again. I am not sure mentally, DeGale would ever get that confidence back.

DeGale though, has to get this out of the way, get this over and done with. If he comes through it the positive is I think he will be on the verge of a world title within a few fights, he is that good. But if he loses, he might never get close again.

If he lets the emotion get to him and if he takes it into the ring, he might suddenly find himself with nowhere to go – and no way back.

Groves horses around on London Tonight

14 05 2011

Haye backs Groves

13 05 2011

David Haye has backed stablemate George Groves to do the business in his May 21st showdown with James DeGale. Groves is a big underdog with the bookies but Haye believes he will prove them wrong – just as he did when he upset Enzo Maccarinelli to become unified cruiserweight champion back in 2008.

“The word in the gym is he’s ready to rumble, he’s ready to go,” he told Ringside.

“The way I see it it’s a similar situation to when I fought Enzo Maccarinelli; he was a product of the Frank Warren stable, he had a lot of people backing him for that fight, a lot of hype but George has done it the old-fashioned way, similar to what I had.

“I’ve seen what George has been doing in the ring, in sparring, and if he can apply that in the ring I’m 100 per cent confident that he will not only beat him, but beat him comfortably.

“He’s been getting some good spars out in America, light-heavyweights, cruiserweights, Andre Dirrell, his brother. I’ve not sparred with him; he’s fighting a southpaw and I’ve got no relevance to James DeGale.

“He’s been doing a lot of rounds – a lot of tough rounds – as you can see because he’s marked up.

“He’s adapted to the southpaw style perfectly and this is George Groves’ coming out fight for sure. He’s going to put on a show, believe me.”

Teaser for Groves v DeGale

10 05 2011

Shattering the myth

8 05 2011

From SkySports

His trainer says he could be the best British boxer ever. Many experts think he is likely to become Britain’s first Olympic gold medalist to win a world title. But to George Groves, James DeGale is a phony.

“James has been wrapped in cotton wool,” he told

“Ok, he was sent to Liverpool to box Paul Smith in his backyard which was pretty tough but if he could sell a ticket, I’m sure that would’ve been in London.

“He is a fighter who is being told something by so many people and it’s just not accurate; them telling him he’s world-class – he’s not; telling him he’s the best for 20 years – he’s not; is all good for me because when we get in that ring I’m going to be the person who exposes him.

“If I’d grown up believing something, believing these people around me telling me this stuff and if I get in the ring and it doesn’t happen, if I can’t do this stuff that I’ve been told, and I’m not as good as I’ve been told, I’d start doubting myself – and it would take a long time to recover from that.”

DeGale certainly looked the more agitated when the pair clashed on Ringside the day the fight was announced and even weeks on, bristles at the mention of his rival’s name while Groves remains the calmer of the two and has no problem talking about him objectively.

“He’s just the sort of guy you just have to stomach, have to take,” says Groves.

“We were never tight. Like he says, we never hung out we just boxed at Dale Youth and it’s a real close-nit club, a tiny little gym, so you’re all close together.

“He was the character he is now, just to a lesser degree, so I always used to edge away from him.

Groves is expected to give him his toughest test yet and while he might not have the silky skills of his old gym-mate, the younger man believes it will suit him down to the ground if their upcoming war turns into a battle of wills.

“I know a lot about him and he will know physically you can get yourself into shape but when it’s time to quit, who’s going to quit first?” he says.

“He knows it’s going to be him. Whenever we’ve been together, he knows I can dig deeper than him and I’ll always dig deeper than him.

“I’m talking about when we used to run together, when we used to spar together. Anything in a gym environment when we competed, he couldn’t beat me. He knows that, too.

“Once he gets beat he’s going to lose that aura around him, that invincibility, this ‘I’m the best fighter for 20 years, I’m like Floyd Mayweather, these fighters come along once in a while’; all that ‘I’ve got the heart to play the part’ crap.

“He’s going to be thinking ‘why the f*** did I say I’ve got the heart to play the part when I’m in here getting bashed up? I’ve got nowhere to go when I get bashed up’.

“And that is when the panic is going to kick in.”

“Can a fight be won before a fight? 100 per cent,” he says.

“Everything I did that first press day ratttled him and it can’t be that I’m just a genius that worked out exactly what needed to be done.

“I just think my presence just rattles him. We’ve had so much time apart, I’d made the assumption that he’d grown as a human being, but he hasn’t made that assumption for me.

“But even when I was 18 and beat him I wasn’t the kid he was referring to – I don’t know who this person is.

“As time’s gone on he’s manipulated the history we’ve had to suit him. He’s built up a false image of me.

“He thinks I’m a child still. It’s the only way he can deal with it.”