By Ollie Salt, courtesy of The Daily Star
GEORGE GROVES has thanked Chris Eubank Jr for ensuring ‘we never hear from James DeGale again’.
Eubank Jr claimed the most pivotal win of his seven-year career on Saturday when he toppled DeGale via unanimous decision at the O2 Arena.
The 29-year-old, in search of his first major scalp as a professional, decked his bitter rival twice in a fairly one-sided contest dubbed prior to the bout by both men as ‘the retirement fight’.
Groves watched on from ringside as the two men he claimed bragging rights over in his own career went head-to-head.
And the Hammersmith man, who retired from the sport earlier this month, is delighted that DeGale seemingly had no choice but to call it a day.
“If I’m truly honest, I had a vested interest in that I fought both,” he told Seconds Out.
“I had an emotional connection to the fight so that might have clouded my view of it being a good fight or not, I genuinely don’t know! But for me it was fascinating, it was edge of the seat stuff.
“It was just what I thought it was gonna be. I thought James DeGale is, not even way past his best, he’s a shell of a fighter now and I felt like that was what he was on fight night.
“I don’t know if he was shocked himself, whether he truly really underestimated Eubank and it’s an attribute to a certain degree to have that self confidence, that self belief.
“We never ever have to hear, see or hear about James DeGale ever again. Suits me just fine.
“He should have retired in the ring on the night. He should have had some humility, he should have been honest with himself but he didn’t.
“He got annoyed ‘cos Chris said that it was comfortable or whatever he said and he said: ‘I’ve got to go and review the tapes, but I’m not saying I’m retiring.’
“I don’t think he did a post-fight press conference either, I think he went straight home. So unless he went to hospital, if he did then I apologise James, if he didn’t and he just went home – that’s it mate, you’re done now.
“Don’t call a press conference next week for retirement, no one cares. No one’s coming, we all know it already.
“We don’t have to hear from James DeGale again, done. Thanks Chris!”