Groves won the battle of west London
George Groves out-pointed fellow Londoner James DeGale via 12 round majority decision at the 02 Arena in London on Saturday night to become British super-middleweight champion. Groves already owns the Commonwealth title. After weeks of verbal sparring between the two former Amateur team mates the pair finally cut loose in the ring and it was Groves who managed to claim west London bragging rights by out-pointing his bitter rival by a wafer thin score.
At the end of 12 thrilling rounds Richie Davies called the fight even at 115-115 each while Dave Parris and John Keane both scored the bout for Groves 115-114.
As expected DeGale received the more hostile reception but that did not seem to effect him as he edged a tentative opening round by finishing strong with a couple of stiff counter punches.
Groves settled down in the second round while DeGale was warned for dipping his shoulder up close. The warning seemed to spur him on though as he again landed solid left-right-left combination up close.
Groves was caught by a hard left hand early in the third followed by a big right cross moments later. Groves, though, stood firm in fourth round, landing a straight right over the top and as the round wore on, two big right counters also found the target to finish the round strongly.
Both men came out firing in the sixth round, trying to gain the upper hand. Groves seemed to be edging the round by getting his punches off quicker but DeGale was never far behind and also had his moments of success.
In the ninth round, the best of the fight so far both men were cut over the left eye but DeGale took the round by finishing with a solid eye catching right jab followed by two hard left counters.
The 10th proved the turning point for Groves, who now cut under his right eye, as was DeGale but it was Groves who took the round by jabbing and banging in right hands.
A nasty head clash in the 11th left Groves with blood pouring from a head wound as DeGale marched forward aggressively in search of finishing off his bitter rival . DeGale was cut under the left eye in the final session but by then it was immaterial as both men fought on to the final bell.
At the end of the 12 rounds it was very hard to split them but two judges leaned towards Groves and it is he who will go into the history books as the British and Commonwealth champion.
May 21, 2011