DeGale blasts rival Groves as ‘proper horrible geezer’ for timing of retirement ahead of Eubank Jr clash

JAMES DEGALE insists George Groves’ spitefully-timed retirement proves his old rival is a “proper horrible geezer”.

Chunky expects to beat Chris Eubank Jr on February 23 and he had targeted a rematch with The Saint, who won an amateur clash in 2006 and a 2011 pro classic.

But Groves, 30, hung up his gloves at the end of January to deny DeGale a shot at revenge and said he hoped the timing floored the 33-year-old.

Two-time IBF champ DeGale told SunSport: “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.

“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.

“Look at my achievements, the money I have earned, the names on my record, you cannot compare us.  “Let’s forget George Groves anyway, he’s a doughnut and a proper horrible geezer.”

DeGale beat Groves to the 2008 Olympics, where he won a heroic gold, but the 2011 loss to his old Dale Youth gym-mate knocked his career off track.

The Harlesden ace had to rebuild, with fights in Denmark, Canada and Bluewater shopping centre, but it all paid off in 2015 when he travelled to America to beat Andre Dirrell, on home soil, with a masterful display.

Groves, who beat Eubank on points last year, had to wait until 2017 to land a world title, at his fourth attempt, and DeGale insists it eats away at his nemesis.

He said: “He failed with three shots at a world title and needed a fourth against Fedor Chudinov.

“In my first attempt at a world title I beat Andre Dirrell in his backyard and then went on to have defences against some top fighters. You cannot compare us and it kills him.

“George is hoping that Eubank beats me because it will make his win over Eubank look brilliant but that isn’t going to happen.”

Groves has signed up to commentate on the ITV pay-per-view bout at London’s O2 and there remains a sneaking suspicion we have not seen the last of him.

A convincing win for DeGale could tee up the long-awaited, mega-money rerun between the two West Londoners but DeGale insists he will never pay over the odds to tempt Groves back.

He said: “I won’t pay for him to come out of retirement, never, it will always be 60-40 in my favour. The guy is a proper idiot.

“It could be one of the shortest retirements in history but I honestly would not want to fight him now.

“He’s retired, I won’t be begging him to come back, so that’s it.”

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