DeGale: Groves is the Best Super Middleweight? That’s Bull!

By Keith Idec

Among the things James DeGale wants to do Saturday night is to remind fans in his homeland that he is boxing’s best super middleweight.

Rival George Groves believes he has earned that distinction. DeGale dismissed that contention in the buildup toward his first fight in nearly 11 months, a defense of his IBF 168-pound championship Saturday night against American Caleb Truax at Copper Box Arena in London.

“After all this time away, I know I have to prove myself again to the British public,” DeGale told London’s Daily Mail. “Remind them that I am the No. 1 super middleweight in the world.”


London’s Groves remains the only boxer to defeat DeGale (23-1-1, 14 KOs) as a professional. Since their fight in May 2011, though, DeGale is certain he has beaten better opposition than Groves, who owns the WBA 168-pound title, and established himself as the super middleweight to beat in the sport.

Regarding Groves’ claim that he has surpassed DeGale, the confident southpaw stated, “That’s bull. How can he justify that? His so-called win over me was years ago and since then I’ve been winning world title fights against miles-better opponents than he’s been fighting.”

One of Groves’ three losses was a split-decision defeat to Sweden’s Badou Jack (22-1-2, 13 KOs), who DeGale battled to a 12-round draw January 14 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

DeGale, fully recovered from shoulder surgery performed five months ago, will have to wait for a shot at redemption against Groves, who won their 12-round bout by majority decision. On February 17 in Manchester, Groves (27-3, 20 KOs) is set to face Chris Eubank Jr. (26-1, 20 KOs) in another domestic showdown.

The winner of their World Boxing Super Series 168-pound semifinal will advance to the super middleweight championship match against the victor of another semifinal between England’s Callum Smith (23-0, 17 KOs) and Germany’s Juergen Braehmer (49-3, 35 KOs). DeGale expects to sit ringside for the highly anticipated Groves-Eubank bout.

“I was invited to a Q&A with George, but then disinvited,” DeGale said. “I think he blocked me. So I don’t think he’ll want me at ringside up in Manchester in February.”

DeGale isn’t certain Groves can beat Eubank or Smith, whom DeGale expects to beat Braehmer. He is more focused on his own return to the ring Saturday night against Truax (28-3-2, 18 KOs), of Osseo, Minnesota.

“The main thing is that for the first time in three or four fights I will be boxing with two good arms,” DeGale said. “I could hardly use my right in that epic fight with Badou Jack in January. I was beginning to wonder if my career might be over. But then, I am a worrier.

“So I set my mind on being back before the end of the year. Once I did that, I knew I’d be OK and here we are. It’s been a long and painful recovery, but I had to have the operation and now I feel stronger than ever before.”

BoxNation and BT Sport will televise the DeGale-Truax fight as the main event of a telecast set to start at 6:35 p.m. GMT/1:35 p.m. EST/10:35 a.m. PST.

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by robbyheartbaby on 12-06-2017

DeGale is damn good keen to see how he goes in his next fight then maybe some big fights in 2018.

Comment by AneesMoha on 12-06-2017

his shoulder will last 8 rounds and then done. unfortunately a fighter (any athlete in general) is never the same after going under the knife.

Comment by Teetotaler on 12-06-2017

[QUOTE=DanHouser;18301461]Please define suck? they are both top five super-middleweights. your comment sucks.[/QUOTE] The fact you consider groves a top 5 is hilarious. Nothing more than two average fighters in a lackluster division

Comment by DanHouser on 12-06-2017

[QUOTE=Teetotaler;18301080]Lol They both suck[/QUOTE] Please define suck? they are both top five super-middleweights. your comment sucks.

Comment by ScottWeiland on 12-06-2017

DeGale hasn't been in such a hurry to face GG again has he, he knows.

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (9)
Top Headlines Rigondeaux's Left Hand Bruised, Not Broken, in Lomachenko Loss Amir Khan Will Scout Jeff Horn: I'd Go To Australia To Fight Him Photos: Katie Taylor vs. Jessica McCaskill, Undercard - Weigh-In ESPN’s Loma-Rigo Watched By 1.73M; Basic Cable’s No. 2 Since 2012 Tyson Fury Free To Box After UKAD Ruling Lomachenko Isn't Impressed With What He Has Done This Year Saunders: I'll Give Lemieux My Purse if My Chin Doesn't Hold Up! Ward Does Not Think Kovalev is Back, Just Had Perfect Opponent Horn Trainer: No Judges From Australia, No Advantage for Us Lee Selby Ready To Fight Josh Warrington at Elland Road Katie Taylor Aims For 'Big 2018' - To Unify Lightweight Division NSAC Head: No Reason Not To Give Boxing License To Nate Diaz Groves-Eubank Undercard: Ryan Walsh vs. Isaac Lowe is Set Manny Pacquiao Could Return in Mexico City, Says Beltran Jeff Horn "Very Relieved" To Make Weight For Gary Corcoran Mikael Zewski Stops Martin Escobar at the Montreal Casino Lomachenko Would Be Wise To Consider Pacquiao Possibilities Arum: Who Gives a Sh*t About White, He's a Piece of Crap! Fenech: Nothing Illegal in Jeff Horn Tactics, He is Not Dirty Fighter! Truax: DeGale Looked Past Me, You Can't Do That in Boxing Joshua Promoter: Wilder on Cloud Nine With His 50-50 Demand CompuBox Statistical Update: Lomachenko Now #1 Defender Ravshan Hudaynazarov Return Scratched, Justin Thomas Wins Lomachenko Manager: No Surprise Rigondeaux Quit, It's a Shame Canelo vs. Golovkin Rematch Deal is "Getting Very Close" Photos: Francesco Patera, Edis Tatli Ready For Rematch Battle Former Manager: Rigondeaux Will Be Remembered For Quit Job Cletus Seldin Vows To Put Real Hurt on Ulysse in HBO Clash Lomachenko vs. Linares a Possibility, Says Golden Boy President Saunders: When I Beat Lemieux, Would Love to Fight Canelo Next Photos: Katie Taylor, Jessica McCaskill - Face To Face at Presser Hearn: Joshua vs. Parker Deal is Close, We're Ready To Overpay BJ Flores Expects Boost, Big Fights From Salita Promotions Deal Tyson Fury No-Shows UKAD Hearing, Creating Further Delay Kell Brook vs. Sergey Rabchenko on March 3 in Sheffield Weekend Review: Lomachenko Rises, Rigondeaux Sinks Frank Warren: DeGale Used Wrong Tactics, He is Not Washed Up Arum Not Least Bit Surprised Lomachenko Made Rigondeaux Quit Andre Ward: Lomachenko vs. Mikey Garcia is 50-50 Super Fight! Vasyl Lomachenko-Guillermo Rigondeaux: Post-Fight Report Card

Latest Active Forum Threads