by Joe Delaney, courtesy of The Daily Star
JAMES DEGALE branded George Groves a “deluded ugly boy” after signing to face his hated rival in Britishboxing’s grudge fight of 2011.
The unbeaten duo clash at The O2 London on May 21, sharing top billing with Nathan Cleverly, who challenges German Juergen Braehmer for the WBO light-heavyweight title.
DeGale’s British super-middleweight title will be on the line, while Groves will risk his Commonwealth crown.
DeGale and Groves were club mates at West London’s Dale Youth ABC, but haven’t spoken since 2006, when Groves won their ABA Championships clash.
The rift worsened when DeGale was picked ahead of Groves for the 2008 Olympics, defying the odds to win a gold medal and going on to win all of his 10 professional fights.
The pair came head-to-head yesterday and DeGale, 24, taunted Groves, saying: “You silly ugly boy. You’re deluded. I’m a different animal now.”
He added: “I’m a British champion, a solid pro and I am looking to take his head off.”
But Groves, 22, unbeaten in 12 fights, hit back. “He’s the most ignorant, arrogant and egotistical fighter in Britain,” he said.
“James was the Olympic champion, but No.2 in his own gym.”