James DeGale has a warning for George Groves ahead of Super Series final versus Callum Smith

Britain's James DeGale (R) George Groves

They've been the bitterest of enemies for years now, but ahead of his planned World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) final with Callum Smith, James DeGale has chosen to give advice to George Groves, and not trash talk.

The two have a storied rivalry, with Groves defeating DeGale on the amateur circuit, before the former inflicted the first professional loss of the latter's career, a 2011 bout in which Groves won the British super-middleweight championship.

Both careers have skyrocketed since those days though.

DeGale defeated Andre Dirrell in 2015 for the IBF super-middleweight world championship, holding onto it for two-and-a-half years before a shock defeat to unfancied American Caleb Truax this past December, but 'Chunky' went on to regain the title from Truax last month.

Groves meanwhile had two huge fights against Carl Froch for the WBA and IBF super-middleweight titles in 2013 and 2014, and despite being defeated both times, his stock was never higher.

He fell to another world class fighter in Badou Jack at the same weight class for the WBC belt in 2015 via split decision, but has been on a seven-fight winning streak since then, that included winning the WBA super-middleweight championship back in 2017 against Fedor Chudinov.

And perhaps his finest moment in recent times came when defeating Chris Eubank Jr in the semi-final of the (WBSS) to set up a huge battle of the the Brits at the O2 Arena in July with Liverpool fighter Callum Smith, but it's not certain to happen just yet.

George Groves v Chris Eubank Jr. - Press Conference

Groves dislocated his shoulder in round 12 of the Eubank fight, which required surgery in February, and WBSS promoter Kalle Sauerland has mooted with the idea of putting Eubank Jr in Groves' place against Smith should Groves not be fit and ready for the July 14 date.

Despite being a bitter foe, DeGale has offered some helpful advice to Groves as he steps up the road to recovery, warning the Hammersmith-born scrap

per that rushing a return to the ring may not be the smartest of moves.

“My shoulder, coming back after six months, was just stupid," said DeGale.

James DeGale Media Workout

“I was like, ‘Oh, man, I need to fight’, and he said, ‘Well, some people come back after six months, but it depends how you feel’.

“Once he said six months, which fell in December, no one was going to tell me I wasn’t going to fight in December.

“As soon as the bell went I threw a left hand and missed it, and I was like, ‘Oh, no, it’s going to be a long night’.

“But it’s all a part of the story. People will remember me coming back and winning back the title from the same guy.

George Groves v Chris Eubank JR: Super Middleweight Semi-Final - World Boxing Super Series

“Groves is his own man with a slightly different injury.

“It depends what the injury was with George. You can’t rush your fitness or injury back. It’s the shoulder, it’s not like it’s your knee.

“You can see in my last fight, firstly I wasn’t fit, I was pawing with my jab.

“There was no strength, there was nothing, I was flat. There was no movement – it wasn’t me in there, it was horrendous.”

Do you think Groves will be fight-fit to face Smith? Let us know in the comments!

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