The best two ghters are in the nal, but George might just have the edge
James Degale on Groves vs Smith
I’M excited for this fight and, being honest, it’s the final I expected from the very start of the World Boxing Super Series. When the full line-up was announced for the tournament I had people coming up to me and mentioning Chris Eubank Jnr and Jamie Cox as potential winners, but I always knew that the winner was going to come from George Groves or Callum Smith. Not a single doubt entered my mind regarding the eventual winner because Groves and Smith were the best two fighters in it by a mile.
Picking the winner between the two of them is hard. It’s the final that the whole world wanted between two quality guys, but I just can’t make a prediction and be 100 per cent confident about it. If I was having this conversation a year ago then I say Smith in a heartbeat, but the last couple of fights have asked a few questions of him and I don’t think he’s given the best account of himself in either fight. He’s had a very easy draw in this competition and he’s done enough to get the final, but now he has to go up a few levels against Groves and it’ll be interesting to see how he finds things against a top guy like George.
With Groves, you kind of know what you’re going to get. His jab is sharp and he can stick to a game plan and you can probably argue that he’s in the form of his career going into this fight. A lot of people have called time on Groves’ career in the past when he lost to Carl Froch and Badou Jack, but he’s sorted himself in a big way and he looks a different fighter these days. There always used to be things said about George’s stamina, but he’s very much a 12-round fighter now and that’s because he fights a lot smarter and doesn’t waste energy the way that he used to. Callum is a fighter I rate, but there’s something about him in his last few fights that I’m just not sure of. There was talk of me fighting him last year after I fought Jack in New York so he was someone I had a closer look at, but what I was watching then looks a much better version then what I’ve seen in his last two. There’s a big possibility that he’s fought within himself, thinking about the final with George, but if that’s not the case then he’s going to find out quickly what it’s like to be at the highest level because Groves will not waste his time.
If I’m forced to pick a winner then I’m going with George simply because he’s tried and tested. If Callum is the fighter many say he is then he’ll give a great account of himself, but George is the one who’s been there time and time again and showed everyone just what he’s capable of. He’s got a load of experience fighting on the big stage against the best guys. That puts him in a good position going into this one. It’s not a confident pick because I do rate the two fighters highly, but it’s coming down to the little things and George just ticks more boxes for me. It’ll be a good fight and George will get the win after 12 hard rounds.
‘IF I WAS ASKED WHO WAS GOING TO WIN A YEAR AGO I WOULD SAY SMITH IN A HEARTBEAT’
THE CHAMPION: Groves comes into this bout on the back of very impressive form