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Boxing Preview Analysis: James DeGale vs. George Groves

A bitter boxing rivalry which started as amateurs comes to a head tonight when Olympic Gold Medalist James DeGale meets George Groves at the 02 Arena in London.

At stake is both DeGale's British and Groves' Commonwealth Super Middleweight titles.

Back in 2006 when both were amateurs, Groves won a decision victory over DeGale. Since then, DeGale has won Olympic Gold and is now eager to set the record straight as a pro five years on.

Both men are unbeaten as pros with 22 wins between them. Make no mistake, there’s no love lost between these two. DeGale has also upped the stakes in this one by betting his entire purse on the outcome.

This one is an in interesting clash of styles. In one corner you have the slick boxing skills of DeGale and in the other you have the aggression of Groves.

For Groves to win this one he needs to be aggressive and put the pressure on. There’s a chance if he does that that he may be able to break DeGale's heart.

However, Groves was in desperate trouble in a title defence against Kenny Anderson in November before pulling out a win. A question mark could also be the stamina of Groves.

DeGale on the on the other hand, has never experienced any pressure in his 10 professional fights.

Although Groves is the sentimental favourite, DeGale is the expert's favourite and I think that DeGale's class will be the deciding factor. Groves will be competitive early on but DeGale should come through this by a late rounds stoppage.

The big London bill also sees light heavyweight Nathan Cleverly finally fight for a world title but against a different opponent for the third time. After the withdrawal of Juergen Braehmer, and failure of Tony Bellew to make the weight, Cleverley now meets Pole Aleksy Kuziemski for the WBO crown.

A tasty bill also sees another bout of local rivalry when welterweight Frankie Gavin meets Young Mutley for the WBO Intercontinental belt.

Should be a good night all round.

About Lee Bellfield

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