• British boxing

Groves and DeGale return to action in December

ESPN staff
November 10, 2011
George Groves beat Paul Smith on Saturday © Getty Images

Arch-rivals George Groves and James DeGale will both top the bill at London's ExCel Centre on December 9.

The pair will not fight each other for the second time as professionals, but will instead defend their respective super-middleweight titles against as yet unnamed opponents in an event masterminded by their promoter Frank Warren.

Groves' most recent fight came against Paul Smith on Saturday, where he successfully defended his British and Commowealth belts inside two rounds, and the 23-year-old is delighted to get another outing in 2011.

"I signed with Frank to keep busy and it is great that he's got me out once more before the end of the year," Groves said. "I'm looking to put on an exciting and explosive performance for the fans - just like I did against Paul Smith at Wembley Arena - and show that I've got true world class potential."

DeGale admits that he is desperate to get back in the ring with Groves after controversially losing their showdown in May - but knows there will be even more interest in a rematch if they can keep improving their respective records.

"I won the European and WBO Intercontinental titles on my return and I'm still on target for a world title fight next year," DeGale said. "I'll take Groves again at the drop of hat because I believe I beat him last time out.

"If he keeps winning and I keep winning then it's a massive fight that the public are going to want to see again."

Ambitious unbeaten middleweight Billy Joe Saunders is also on the undercard for the fight.

"Next year I'll be targeting the British, Commonwealth and European titles before I move on to the world scene," Saunders said.

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