James DeGale has hit out at George Groves after he retired recently.

The former IBF super-middleweight champion has called his old rival’s timing “spiteful”.

Groves hung up his gloves last week in the wake of last September’s defeat to Callum Smith in the World Boxing Super Series in which he succumbed his WBA Super world title and failed to capture the WBC Diamond and Ring Magazine belts.

And ‘Chunky’ couldn’t resist a final swipe at his former gym-mate – who beat him both as an amateur and a professional – as he prepares for his February 23 showdown with Chris Eubank Jr.

“I just read an article where George said he announced his retirement at the time to try to flatten me, before my next fight with Chris Eubank Jr,” DeGale, who takes on the second generation at the O2 Arena in London, exclusively live on ITV Box Office, told The Sun.

“That is George Groves all over, he is just not a nice guy. With me and him it is, and always will be, a competition but you cannot compare me and George Groves.”

DeGale is under the guidance of Al Haymon and trained by Jim McDonnell and, having been promised a pre-retirement crack at another world title, he knows the fight against Eubank Jr. is a must-win.

Eubank Jr. is going into the fight on the back of a win against JJ McDonagh last September – a victory preceded by a 12-round decision defeat to the aforementioned Groves.

“Look at my achievements, the money I have earned, the names on my record, you cannot compare us,” DeGale added. “The best sight for me will be when the referee raises my arm at the end of the fight [against Eubank Jr.].

“By knockout or points, either way I’m leaving the ring the winner.

“Having the London skyline as the backdrop is entirely appropriate – I’m aiming for the stars, but first I aim to conquer Chris Eubank at the O2.

“Let’s forget George Groves anyway, he’s a doughnut and a proper horrible geezer.” Geo

Article by: Elliot Foster