DeGale and Groves met in the studio... and it got a bit fiery
Last Updated: 25/03/11 12:14pm
It's one of the bitterest rivalries that British boxing has witnessed in years and it all boiled over in the Ringside studio...
George Groves and James DeGale are not afraid to admit their hatred for each other and they will have a serious score to settle when they meet in a unification fight at London's 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, and both fighters are set to put their unblemished professional records on the line when they meet live on Sky Box Office.
In the week that the big fight was confirmed, the two men met face to face on Ringside and things got heated very quickly.
Read on for a blow by blow account of some of the best verbal volleys that were traded in their explosive, and hugely entertaining, war of words...
Groves on beating DeGale as an amateur: "That's what happens in boxing, you beat people because you're better than them and that's what happened that night. I was better than him. After I beat him I was there ready to shake his hand. What did he do? He phoned up my trainer and said: 'I can't come down the gym no more, I'm too embarrassed.'"
DeGale on their amateur days: "This geezer has lived in my shadow for half his life. I've done everything that he couldn't do. I went to the Olympics and won a gold medal for my country. He beat me as an amateur, well he robbed me. He beat me, not fair and square, but he beat me on the night."
Groves on DeGale's Olympic success: "I was never jealous about him winning an Olympic gold. At the time, I was jealous slightly because I thought maybe I'd proved I was as good as this guy, if not better, and I went on and won the ABA's that year, but never got recognised for it. I never got to train with the A-Team, the 2008 crew and was left out in the cold after bashing him up."
DeGale on their history: "We were never friends, don't get it twisted, we were never ever friends. We didn't socialise together, we didn't do nothing. All we did was at the gym and sparring, that was it."
Groves on being called 'an ugly ginger kid': "If that's the best he can come up with then that's going to be his downfall. If he thinks little words like that are going to upset me during the preparations and during the fight he's wrong. That's the only thing he can count on because technically I've got him beat. The only thing he can bank on is that I fight with emotion. His delusion, the things he says, his ego, his arrogance and his ignorance is going to make me want hurt him when I should be just boxing him."
DeGale on Groves' progression: "He's got people around him like Adam Booth and David Haye gassing his head. This guy has not improved since he was an amateur. If anything he's got worse. I've changed heaps and bounds, I'm a totally different animal now. This guy's got no chin. As an amateur you'd got no chin and when I hit you on that chin you're a goner. We're professionals now. Wake up and smell the coffee."
Groves on fight night tactics: "He's like an onion. He's got plenty of layers and he's had plenty of people pump him up, but when it's just me and him in there and he doesn't have the thinking time that he needs and he can't be as relaxed as he wants to be and there's no-one there to help him, I'm going to hurt him. I don't need to give tactics. He's only got one trick, his trick is to upset me."
DeGale on fight night tactics: "Let's make it a proper fight, that's what you're good at. Hold the centre of the ring and throw bombs. Why won't you do that for the fans? Why are you trying to be David Haye, Mr Technical and try and box like David Haye? Why are you doing that? You're not like that mate. Why are you being like that for?"
Groves on DeGale's mind games: "This is a desperate plea for me to become emotionally involved, which I'm not going to do. That's his only advantage, that's the only way he could have any chance in this fight. He's done it before with previous opponents, he did it in his last fight when he boxed Smith. I'm not going to throw punches because I want to hurt his stupid long-headed face. You, my friend, are going to look like a horse running at Cheltenham come May 21."
DeGale's prediction for May 21: "Look at that swagger, look at that tie. Where'd you get that tie from you fool. Sit down, you mad fool. I'm going to knock this guy down in four rounds. It's going to be a cracker. I'm going to knock this guy out, ugly boy is gone. Remember I've told you this, it will not go 12 rounds."
Groves' prediction for May 21: "I'll give you one prediction. His trainer, who has inflated him, will pull him out."