Groves signs DeGale fight
Bitter rivals to finally meet
Last Updated: 04/05/11 12:01pm
James DeGale will take on bitter rival George Groves in a unification fight at the O2 Arena on May 21.
The pair will face off for the first time since their amateur days, when Groves took a decision that is disputed by DeGale to this day.
The fight will be given equal billing on another big night of boxing presented by promoter Frank Warren, alongside the WBO light-heavyweight match-up between champion Jurgen Braehmer and Welshman Nathan Cleverly.
DeGale went on to win Olympic gold in Beijing as an amateur and has come of age as a professional despite a slow start, beating Paul Smith to win the British title last year.
Groves has made similar progress, capturing the Commonwealth strap, although he needed to come off the canvas to defeat Kenny Anderson in November.
The pair were stablemates in the amateurs, although their friendship has cooled markedly since the Olympics, with DeGale urging Groves to sign the contract after his routine warm-up victory on Saturday night.
"This will be one of the best shows that I have ever put together," Warren said at Thursday's press conference.
"The super-middleweight division has always had a special place in the hearts of the British public.
"I promoted some great champions in Joe Calzaghe, Chris Eubank, Steve Collins and Nigel Benn, but I believe DeGale can be better than all of them.
"This fight against Groves will be an absolute war though, and it's a massive test. It reminds me of all those great fights we had between Benn, Eubank, Collins and Calzaghe.
"Not only are the British and Commonwealth titles on the line, but pride is as well, and that makes this is a very special occasion.
"Let's not forget Cleverly and Braehmer as well because that's one hell of a fight too.
"Cleverly is one of our best prospects and this is his chance to make a massive statement.
"And who knows, one day he might end up fighting James DeGale or George Groves up at light-heavy."