By Simon Peach, Press Association Sport
James DeGale has promised to batter George Groves when the pair go toe-to-toe later this month as the Olympic gold medallist eyes a tilt at a world title shot.
The 25-year-old British super middleweight champion faces former amateur foe and Commonwealth champion Groves at London’s O2 Arena on May 21.
DeGale and Groves came head-to-head today at the pair’s old hunting in ground at Dale Youth Amateur Boxing Club.
The west London club was where Groves once beat DeGale in an amateur competition, but the Olympic champion has vowed to make amends later this month.
“Listen, I look at him and I know him,” DeGale said of Groves, who came to the press conference nursing a black eye from sparring.
“With his leaky defence of course he is going to get battered and bruised and stuff like that but he is going to get worse than that on May 21.
“His biggest weakness is his defence, he has no defence. No defence at all.
“He can’t box, he can’t fight on the ropes. He doesn’t know how to hold.
“The inside fighting bit, he just can’t do it.
“Basically he is going to get battered or be a kip on the floor. That’s it.
“Game over, ugly boy. You’re done. Finished, finito.
“I’m off moving onto bigger and better things, you’re going to be a kip on the floor or just battered and bruised.”
Speaking to Press Association Sport, DeGale said training and preparation was going “perfectly” after spending time sparring with Nathan Cleverly.
DeGale is on the undercard for the Welshman’s world light-heavyweight title clash with Jurgen Brahmer, but he hopes to have his own world title shot soon.
“It is a massive event and hopefully a stepping stone to bigger and better things,” he said.
“World title, hopefully, by the next Olympics next year. That would be great.”
Opponent Groves attended today’s press call with his trainer Adam Booth, who is best known as coach of WBA world heavyweight champion David Haye.
DeGale believes Booth will have a major influence on Groves heading into the bout, but believes his opponent’s aptitude will not be able to match his attitude.
“Remember his trainer is Adam Booth and I think he has a degree in psychology so obviously he is going to hype up his man, get into his head and stuff like that,” he said.
“He is going to be confident but, as I’ve said before, Georgey Groves has more balls than brains.
“Please believe me. That is going to be his downfall.”