DeGale v Groves the Aftermath

By Neil Dunne: I was as excited as any fan about the “This Is It” DeGale v Groves British and Commonwealth super middleweight title fight that took place just a few short weeks ago. Before the fight it seemed I was in agreement with most that James DeGale would be too big and too skilful for George Groves. So much so that I expected a late Knockout and was even worried the fight wouldn’t progress past 4 rounds.

Worried mainly because I so much wanted George to win. I think DeGale’s stupidity was there for all to see but it was also Jim McDonnell’s approach that increased my alliance to the Groves cause. In my view, I saw the trainer’s lack of experience and understanding of what is required from a man in his position peaked when DeGale offered the “Cover your wages” bet at the press conference. When DeGale said he wanted the bet McDonnell jumped out of his seat like some over eager school boy shouting his approval, “yeah me too” and offering a £20 grand bet, presumably, to Adam Booth (trainer of Groves) at the same time.

I’m not sure whether or not the fight had everything I had expected but the feelings I had for the two fighters and the excitement from the build-up made it the event I had hoped for. As a Follower of boxing on sky sports more and more I find myself disagreeing with the fight analysis of commentator Jim Watt during a live fight and this one was no different. In the early rounds Jim was constantly suggesting that DeGale was forcing Groves onto the back foot when it was clear to me that those were the tactics that Booth and Groves had planned.

Having said that for once I completely agreed with Jim on the scoring, with the one exception of the 12th round. This meant that both Jim and I had it even going into the last round which Jim gave to DeGale where I thought Groves edged it. This was also the reason we disagreed on the winner of the fight.

Having watched the fight back and despite the closeness of the scoring (which I stand by) I think Groves was definitely the worthy winner. I think Groves won more rounds more convincingly than DeGale and the only rounds which were convincingly Degale’s were 1, 9 and perhaps 11.

Now the dust has settled I am glad there is no immediate rematch as I think a fight a couple of years down the line might ask some new questions and have a lot more at stake. I hope that DeGale sticks with McDonnell and I hope both of them learn a lot from the fight and from their mistakes and I hope they learn to conduct themselves differently in the future in front of the cameras.

And on a side note, I also hope that Frank Warren looks back at the event and considers very carefully which of his cards is and isn’t worthy of a Pay Per View.

Article posted on 17.06.2011

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