Was James DeGale Given the Shaft Against George Groves?

Does James DeGale have a reasonable argument to say he was robbed against George Groves? (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)

Let me say first that I don't think James DeGale was "robbed" necessarily in his May 21 fight with George Groves. The fight was exceptionally close. I scored it for DeGale, 115-113. But this is the discussion now -- DeGale's trainer Jim McDonnell has gone on quite a tirade (and a well-reasoned one at that) about the scoring of the 12th round in particular:

"What really amazed me is that the official scorecards that I’ve looked at, coming out for the last round – forget the rest of the fight, coming out for the last round – Richie Davis had James one round in front and the other two judges had them dead level. Now if you speak to anyone in boxing – in America, London, Scotland, Ireland, Torquay or Birmingham – they’ll tell you that James DeGale won the last round," says McDonnell.

"How the f*ck can those judges give that verdict to George Groves? That is absolute nonsense. I was going to say it at the press conference but I’ll say it to you now. I think all these big fights in future – the judges have got to have earphones on. They have got to have earphones on," reiterated the coach.

"The judges were so swayed by the crowd it was unbelievable. The judges sat at ringside, God bless them they’re only human, were hearing the noise of Groves’ people when he’s throwing shots – that ain’t landing by the way, James has got the best defence in boxing – and scoring them."

Now, the idea that DeGale has the best defense in boxing is fairly laughable, but OK, sure. Ignore that part though -- the rest is perfectly reasonable. I scored the 12th round for DeGale. Groves closed it fairly strong, I thought, but it was clearly DeGale's round. On the Bad Left Hook scorecard, that made for a DeGale W instead of a draw. On the official cards, Groves carried the round across the board, resulting in 115-114 (twice) and 115-115 cards in Groves' favor.

Here's the full fight from Frank Warren's YouTube channel, but this starts at the 12th round -- judge for yourself, and forget the rest of the fight for a moment. Does Groves really win the 12th round? Or, knowing how this turned out based entirely on these three minutes, was DeGale in fact robbed?

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