Boxing (Olympic)

George Groves vs. James DeGale: Somebody's 0 Has Got to Go

Andrew WhittakerCorrespondent IMay 21, 2011

George "The Saint" Groves (12-0, 10 KO) and James "Chunky" DeGale (10-0, 8 KO) have been involved in a grudging war of words in the lead up to their upcoming fight for the British and Commonwealth super middleweight championship tomorrow night at the O2 Arena in London.

The two foes started out in the same gym where they used to spar with each other before Groves won a close majority decision against DeGale in 2006 for the Golden Gloves.

Since then the two rivals have turned professional and have both won all of their competitive fights so far with both of them stopping all but two of their opponents thus far.

So far, the discussions have flourished about who of these bitter enemies will win their matchup, with most experts going for 2008 Olympian DeGale. 

In the buildup, DeGale has tried to, seemingly unsuccessfully, upset Groves by calling him names such as "ugly kid" and also by holding his nose when Groves has been near. 

Groves, under the tutelage of Adam Booth and Hayemaker promotions, have taken things a little easier and has so far behaved professionally. 

Both of the fighters have had great, hard training camps so far, with DeGale sparring with the likes of recently named WBO light heavyweight champion Nathan Cleverly, while Groves has been sparring with André Dirrell in the world-known 5th Street Gym in Miami, so there are no excuses for this fight. 

DeGale is the self-made antagonist in this fight, his criticism of Adam Booth, Groves and even David Haye has come out of nowhere and according to Groves, he is obsessed with Haye and is jealous they signed him and not DeGale.

However, DeGale is blessed with natural fighting skills and has looked more accomplished at the high domestic level than Groves has up until now.

Chunky's TKO victory over Paul Smith is his most significant one to date, but a fight in which his chin or heart was never really tested in. He then went on to beat Alpay Kobal in five rounds in March. 

A lot has been made of Groves' sixth-round TKO win over Kenny Anderson in November of 2010. He was knocked down onto his knee in the third round of the fight and took more blows to his head than trainer Booth would have liked.

However, he did come back and showed impressive skill, heart and determination to get the victory only a few rounds after he had been hurt. He then went on to beat Ghanian Daniel Adotey in March.

Both Groves and DeGale seem extremely confident about their chances and whereas Groves knows and admits he has flaws DeGale seem to think he is a perfect fighter.

That will be the interesting point in this fight. Can Groves test DeGale's heart and chin? Is DeGale as good as he thinks he is?

I predict a stoppage within eight rounds. I think I know who will win it. Look for the surprise.   

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