Alan Dawson – London
Rising British prospect Bradley Skeete expects British and Commonwealth super middleweight champion George Groves to successfully defend his belts against challenger and former champion Paul Smith at Wembley Arena, London on Saturday, November 5 by “close points decision“. Skeete, a stablemate of both fighters as the trident all operate under Frank Warren’s Sports Network banner, said Saint George is still “buzzing” following his victory over James DeGale.
Smith (31-2-0, 17ko) won the Lonsdale belt when he edged Tony Quigley in 2009. Despite suffering bloody cuts he made a successful defence against Tony Dodson, before succumbing to a ninth round referee’s stoppage nine months later when he came up against mandatory challenger DeGale. Since the loss he has amassed two first round knockout wins and has vowed to reclaim the British championship, however, as welterweight sensation ‘Super’ Skeete explains, Groves (13-0-0, 10ko) is still “buzzing coming off his own win over DeGale,” in May and will thus put up a motivated fight.
Bookmakers’ favourite DeGale was regarded to be the more talented prizefighter out of the two yet Groves’ game-plan negated anything DeGale attempted during the first half of the fight and Groves was able to cling on in the latter stages of the contest to seal the majority decision win. Skeete believes Groves’ victory over DeGale and Smith’s loss provides the Saint with a psychological advantage: “He’s got one up on Smith knowing how well DeGale beat him,” Bradley exclusively told On The Beak.
However, Skeete (4-0-0, 1ko) was swift to add: “Boxing isn’t like that though and no two fights are the same. Smith said he wasn’t himself in the Degale fight,” the 24-year-old noted, before making his prediction: “He’s had two very good wins since so I think this one is gonna be a 12 round war with Groves winning a close points decision.”