Backstage bust-up in Liverpool on Friday proves animosity is still there…
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Groves says Froch was lucky twice: (Video) ‘Saint’ calls out rival for third fight.
It’s no secret that James DeGale and George Groves dislike each other. A lot. As the pair edge closer to reigniting their feud in the ring in 2015, they have conceded that their rematch could be bigger than Froch-Groves II.
The degree of animosity between Froch and Groves over the course of their eight-month battle captured the public’s attention, and in turn it produced the biggest night in British boxing history as a sold-out Wembley saw the Cobra defend his titles and claim the convincing stoppage that he craved.
Despite Groves’ attempts at calling him out for a third fight, it is likely that the Nottingham-born fighter will continue to chase a dream fight in Las Vegas, but then there is also the issue of DeGale being his mandatory challenger for the IBF title.
Froch has until December 31 to make his mind up, and ultimately DeGale will fight for the world title early next year whether that is against his domestic rival or not. Meanwhile, Groves is on his own path towards the WBC strap currently held by Anthony Dirrell, and inevitably the two Brits will see their paths will cross again in what could be an explosive unification fight in the summer of 2015.
Naturally, the wheels are already in motion for Sky and promoter Eddie Hearn who are likely to continue to build up the fight in the coming months, and there is real reason to believe him when he suggests that it could eclipse Froch vs Groves II.
Firstly, DeGale and Groves’ rivalry dates back to their amateur days and it was brought back under the spotlight for their professional bout back in 2011. Groves won at the O2 that night despite many believing DeGale perhaps had done enough to get the nod, but given the controversy surrounding the decision a second fight was always likely.
The pair were brought back together on Ringside last month in the build-up to Tony Bellew’s clash with Nathan Cleverly in Liverpool, and it was clear that while they had arguably matured since their last appearance on the show, there was still tension between them as Groves made several digs.
Both insisted that it was a member of the other’s camp that was to blame for their bust-up backstage last Friday, with family members becoming involved in the war of words. If that’s the kind of situation they find themselves in while fighting other opponents, imagine the level of tension there would be in the build-up to their second bout.
If DeGale goes on and wins the IBF title after two impressive performances this year, and Groves is able to dethrone Dirrell, a unification fight becomes the natural conclusion to their on-going battle. Froch suggested that he could perhaps fight the winner of the two, placing himself well for another significant pay-day.
The Cobra has done enough over the course of his career to warrant the ability to call the shots to an extent, but given the longevity, genuine hatred and lingering questions surrounding DeGale-Groves, it may well be the fight that steals the show in 2015.
DeGale appears to be growing in each fight since joining Matchroom and he has undoubtedly matured as a person after admitting he was perhaps too cocky and brash after turning pro and the reception he receives from fans is changing on the whole.
In contrast, questions are being asked of Groves after two underwhelming performances since that night at Wembley, and although he still has a strong fanbase of his own, he certainly divided opinion during his spat with Froch.
Nevertheless, it remains an intriguing battle between two old foes, and it could well be the latest British super-middleweight war that gets everyone talking and sets the stage for another huge night at Wembley next year.