James DeGale has hinted rival George Groves has too many miles on the clock to win World Boxing Super Series.
The IBF super-middleweight champion was ruled out of the multi-million pound tournament by a shoulder injury that needed surgery, but says he wants the winner – and he hopes it’s Groves.
Groves, a narrow points winner over DeGale six years ago, meets Jamie Cox in the quarter finals at the SSE Arena in the quarter finals on Saturday night and victory will lead to a semi final clash against Chris Eubank jr.
De Gale said: “Groves is the big one I want.
“If he wins this, there would be two world titles on the line and we could settle things maybe at the Emirates or Wembley Stadium, once and for all.
“I definitely want to fight him again. We genuinely don’t like each other.
“There’s history between us that goes back to when we were 15. We were always competing against each other.
“George matured early. He was like a 20 year old when he was 15 – and I think he’s getting old early as well. He’s had a hard, draining career and the whole Carl Froch saga that was mentally draining.
“I’m not sure he’s going to win World Boxing Super Series.”
Groves has two wins over DeGale. He won a split verdict in the amateurs and a majority vote for the British and Commonwealth belts in May, 2011.
“100 per cent I believe I beat him in the pros,” said DeGale, “and so do lots of other people who were at the fight. He stole the fight by running away on the back foot, but I blame myself for making it closer than it should have been and the way I behaved before the fight didn’t help me, but I was young, immature and didn’t deal with the fame I was getting very well.
“But you live and learn. I still got my world title before he did and I haven’t had the hard fights he’s had.”
An All-British battle is on tap this Saturday as World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) tournament action continues when World Boxing Association (WBA) Super World Super Middleweight Champion “Saint” George Groves makes his first title defense against undefeated challenger Jamie Cox, airing live in Canada exclusively on Super Channel from Wembley Arena in London, United Kingdom.
The “Groves vs. Cox” card, starting at 2 p.m. ET / 11 a.m. PT,allows Canadian boxing fans to continue watching all $50-million WBSS tournament action live, exclusively on Canada’s boxing destination network, Super Channel, which acquired the rights in Canada to broadcast the World Boxing Super Series from MP & Silva, a leading international media company that provides media rights, digital, technology and sponsorship services.
Groves, 29, has an experienced advantage over Cox in terms of quality opponents fought. Last May, Groves stopped Fedor Chudinov in the sixth round to capture the WBA Super World Super Middleweight Championship. In addition to Chudinov, Groves has defeated two other world champions, fellow Brit and Olympic gold medalist James DeGale (MDEC12), and Glen Johnson (UDEC12). All three of Groves’ career losses as a professional have been to world champions, twice to fellow Brit Carl Froch, along with Badou Jack.
“Experience is very important,” Groves explained. “You don’t understand it until you got it and even when you got it it’s still difficult to understand. I’m sure it will play a part. Cox has boxed at a high level as an amateur but he’s yet to do it as a pro. Let’s see if he can cope. I’m sure he will be well rehearsed in the build-up and well drilled in the gym but putting it together under the spotlight on the biggest stage is always the most difficult task. I’ve been there and done it before, but let’s see if he can.
“I’ve still got the hunger. I’ve still nowhere near achieved what I set out to achieve as a little kid. I haven’t won enough belts, I haven’t won enough fights, I haven’t made enough money, and until all those and a few other things are crossed off the bucket list, I’m more-hungry than ever. I finally know what it feels like to be a World Champion and I don’t plan on surrendering that anytime soon. Now I would like the feeling of winning the Muhammad Ali Trophy.”
“He’s (Cox) a competent chap. When I knew him, he had a lot of desire. Although his professional record doesn’t suggest any desire because he’s been a pro longer than me and he still hasn’t been in a real fight. He’s had breaks, he’s had injuries, he’s had personal issues. I’m sure now he decided this is his last crack at the whip as a professional boxer he’s going to try to knuckle down and prepare to the best of his abilities. I’m preparing for the best Jamie Cox. He’s fit, he’s strong, he’s aggressive, he’s ballsy, but they are all things I possess as well so I’m sure it will make for a great fight. I certainly feel I have the measure of him and I have a few advantages, which I’m going to reveal on the night.”
Cox (24-0, 13 KOs), 31, hasn’t been in nearly as tough as Groves in terms of fighting quality opponents. He is the reigning WBA Continental super middleweight champion, as well as a former WBO European titlist.
“It’s an honor to be part of the World Boxing Super Series,” Cox said. “Some great names, some great fights, the best fighting the best, that’s what it should be about with The Muhammad Ali Trophy as the end result. I set my targets high and this is the big one.
“I have done it in the gyms with world champions, now it’s time to do it on the big stage. I am looking forward to showcasing myself and show people what I am about and how hard I work in the gym and the dedication I have for the game. “I don’t care about my trophies and what I have achieved so far, the past is irrelevant, I care about the future and the future is now. The goal is to win the Muhammad Ali Trophy. Beating George Groves is the first step and step by step I will reach my goal.”
The Groves-Cox winner will advance to the WBSS semifinals to face another Brit, IBO champion Chris “Next Gen” Eubank Jr., who knocked out previously undefeated Avni Yildirim in the third round of last Saturday’s quarterfinals fight in Germany.
Seven thrilling matches on the “Groves vs, Cox” card, promoted by Sauerland Event, will air in Canada exclusively on Super Channel. The Groves vs. Cox 12-round main event is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. ET / 3 p.m. PT.
The 10-round co-feature is a WBSS Substitute Fight between British southpaw John “The Gorilla” Ryder (24-4, 12 KOs) and WBC International super middleweight champion Patrick Neilson (29-1, 14 KOs), of Denmark.
Other undercard bouts scheduled to air on Super Channel are British welterweight Louis Adolphe (6-0, 1 KO) vs. Nathan McIntosh (13-2, 1 KO) in an eight-round bout, British welterweight Kian Thomas (7-0, 3 KOs) vs. Ferenc Katona (10-7-2, 6 KOs), of Hungary, in a six-round match, and in four-round fights: British cruiserweight Mikael Lawal (3-0, 2 KOs) vs. Michal Plesnik (4-1, 4 KOs, of Slovakia, British welterweight Daniel Keenan (6-0) vs. Angel Emilov (6-14, 3 KOs), of Bulgaria, and Michael Devine (15-5-1, 5 KOs) vs. Michael Mooney (8-37-1, 3 KOs) in a match-up of British lightweights..