Frank Warren is calling on the British Boxing Board of Control to make a rematch between Warren's man, James DeGale, and George Groves. Groves won a tight majority decision yesterday against DeGale in London, taking the British super middleweight title:
"The general consensus seems to be that James won the fight, so they should order a rematch. ... One way or another that fight will happen again. If it doesn't happen, George Groves should be ashamed of himself. I haven't found one person who thought George won that fight and I'm sure he's got a lot of pride and he wouldn't want it to be like that."
DeGale also weighed in:
"How can a challenger nick a fight on the back foot like that? I thought I hit him with the cleaner shots, I hurt him in the ninth round, and the last four rounds I won easy."
Official scores were 115-114, 115-114 and 115-115, meaning Groves truly won this by the slimmest margin possible. And many scored the fight a draw, or for DeGale. I scored it for DeGale (115-113), but personally see nothing for Groves to be "ashamed of" -- although, again, I'm not of the mindset that a "champion" has some unwritten advantage. The idea that a "champion" in boxing needs to be dominated just puzzles me. In a world with 6,388,542 "championship" belts, it never comes off as better than sour grapes when a losing "champion" starts going on about how he was only barely defeated, or he was at least almost as effective as the other guy, so hey, he should be allowed to win, by law.
Groves responded pretty hilariously:
"How many times do I have to beat this man? After this fight I'll go on to bigger and better things. He has no titles, he's just come off a loss, I'm pretty sure I can find a better opponent than James DeGale. I've always said, once I've finished with James DeGale I've cleared up the domestic scene and I'm looking at bigger and better things."
Groves does add that he assumes he'll face DeGale again later, when both have major titles. But what really amuses me about this is that after months of DeGale constantly being so arrogant, with all the "ugly ginger kid" talk, he's now reduced to whining that the fight was close (and thus he shouldn't have lost, because he came in with a belt), while Groves is free to smirk his way through a response like this one.
I don't mind trash talkers usually, and I don't mind DeGale, and he's still got a hell of a future. For the most part I think he had poor night and that Groves might be in his head. But I almost always find it funny when a trash talker, especially after making big claims about a fight, loses and the trash talking persona turns into that guy trying to excuse himself for failing to live up to his own hype. And then the other guy, if he plays it right, does what Groves does here -- just pokes that trash talker a little bit, instead of getting all, "See? I told you!" about it.
But I do think we'll see these two meet later on down the line, and it will be the situation Groves envisions: When both of them are bigger stars, possibly in a unification of major titles. But they're both still kids, let's not forget that. They've got a long way to go until world titles are in sight.