May 23 2011 By Tim Edwards
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British and Commonwealth super middleweight champion George Groves believes a rematch with James DeGale would make a mockery of their bitter rivalry.
The 23-year-old claimed the West London bragging rights on Saturday with a majority decision over sworn enemy DeGale after an epic 12 round tussle at a packed O2 Arena.
The former Dale Youth ABC team-mates, bloodied and bruised, raised their arms aloft in triumph at the end of the clash but it was the Groves camp who were celebrating long into the night after judges Dave Parris and John Kean awarded it 115-114 to him with Richie Davies calling it a 115-115 draw.
Groves' record against DeGale now stands at 2-0 having defeated him in an amateur bout in 2006, something which has always needled DeGale despite his rise to prominence after winning Olympic gold in 2008.
However, when the time came to put up or shut up DeGale failed to press home his superiority in the early rounds and should have finish off his nemesis after rocking him with a huge left hook in the ninth round.
His promoter Frank Warren believes the judges made the wrong decision and immediately demanded a rematch so DeGale could reclaim his British title and Groves' Commonwealth belt.
Groves, however, was reluctant to commit as he basked in the moment.
He said: “What is it, best of five? How many times do I have to beat this man? I've beaten him twice, what more do I have to do?
“I displayed skill, determination, will to win and boxing ability. I beat him in every aspect of his game. I took away his confidence and his ability.
“The whole nation was behind me but they didn't think I was going to win. Now people in and out of boxing will have a bit more respect for my ability.”
Harlesden's DeGale is adamant Groves failed to stand and fight enough to earn the majority decision.
“He is the challenger but he runs on the back foot and nicks the fight,” said a stunned DeGale. “I'm gutted. I honestly thought I was up a couple of rounds.”