Former WBA super-middleweight champion George Groves was temporarily taken off his scheduled ITV broadcast at the previously unknown request of either James DeGale or Chris Eubank Jr.
Groves has defeated both men who fight for the IBO super middleweight championship on Saturday night at London’s O2 Arena.
The rivalry between ‘Chunky’ and ‘Next Gen’ has been brewing for several years after a series of run-ins where neither man could see eye-to-eye.
The duo have previously sparred together whilst in training and have traded a variety of verbal jabs through social media.
Both DeGale and Eubank Jr denied lodging a complaint against Groves’ scheduled ITV punditry when they were questioned by the media at their pre-fight press conference in London today.
But Eubank Jr’s father, two-weight world champion Chris Sr, suggested it was DeGale’s parents who were the culprits.
DeGale vehemently denied Eubank Sr’s claims and insisted that neither of his parents play any part in the decision-making process of his career.
At the lively final news conference, the fighters traded insults, with DeGale telling his rival he was “pathetic” and a “deluded moron” for believing he could compete with the Olympic gold medallist and former world super-middleweight champion.
Both men vowed to end their respective careers when they meet in the ring on Saturday with Eubank Sr admitting he is ‘petrified’ as the stakes are so high for both warriors.
DeGale said: “I’ve gained no respect for him. He’s deluded. I can’t even deal with listening to him.
“The retirement fight is here. He’s finished. This is his last fight. He’s going to get a schooling.
“This is the biggest fight of his career, whoever loses. This fight is done. It’s do or die on Saturday.
“I’m proven. I’ve won everything. I’m going to retire him. It’s my time.”
Eubank Jr fired back: “He’s a clown.
“He will have a good go but at the end of the day I will be too much for him.
“We are both on the edge. We both cant lose. I’m just happy to be in a position where I know he won’t be able to handle the heat.
“I’m going to box his head off. This is the defining night of my career.”
Shortly after the press conference had concluded, news broke per The Telegraph, that DeGale’s team did not wish Groves to take part in the event and they had made the request to remove Saint George from the ITV broadcast team.
This report was then confirmed when boxing/MMA writer Gareth A Davies suggested that after the press conference was aired, ITV had opened the door to bringing Groves back, after DeGale stated to the world he had ‘no objection.’
Groves then congratulated Davies in a tweet and poked fun at his long tenured rival:
“Great journalistic work G A D. #SorryJD.”
Saint George then posted a video of Eminem’s song ‘Without Me’ to his followers which opens with the lyrics ‘Guess who’s back….back again,’ and his team confirmed that they fully expect the former super-middleweight to be part of the ITV team come Saturday.
DeGale and Groves are bitter rivals dating back to the days of when they shared an amateur boxing club at Dale Youth in Notting Hill.
There has been bad blood between the two since they fought back in 2011 with Groves winning a somewhat controversial split points decision.
Unfortunately for DeGale, his plan has backfired and his most hated opponent will now be in the broadcast booth where I’m sure he will shed light on some of the further intricacies of their great rivalry.