George Groves axed from ITV commentary team for James DeGale vs Chris Eubank Jnr

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George Groves axed from ITV commentary team for James DeGale vs Chris Eubank Jnr amid claims one team protested old rival’s involvement – but both camps blame each other as sparks fly at press conference

  • It is believed one of the team protested George Groves’ involvement in coverage 
  • Both James DeGale and Chris Eubank Jnr each blamed opposition rival camp 
  • Chris Eubank Snr had his say and posited that it could be DeGale’s mother 
  • Groves defeated both and was expected to launch career as analyst on Saturday

Jeff Powell For Mailonline

and
Will Griffee For Mailonline

George Groves has been pulled off ITV’s commentary team for Saturday night’s grudge match between James DeGale and Chris Eubank – sparking a huge row over who is to blame at their press conference.

It is believed that one of the teams protested against their old rival passing judgement on the super-middleweight showdown. 

Groves ‘still expects’ to be part of the commentary team for this grudge fight in defiance of objections from one of his old foes. The Saint appears to have been reinstated at ringside after the protest, which Eubank’s famous father blamed on DeGale’s team, became public. 

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James DeGale (left) cast blame at his opponent Chris Eubank Jr (right) at the press conference

James DeGale (left) cast blame at his opponent Chris Eubank Jr (right) at the press conference

James DeGale (left) cast blame at his opponent Chris Eubank Jr (right) at the press conference

Junior denied the allegations and said he would be fine with George Groves' involvement 

Junior denied the allegations and said he would be fine with George Groves' involvement 

Junior denied the allegations and said he would be fine with George Groves’ involvement 

Chris Eubank Snr (right in tweed jacked) said with certainty his son's camp were not involved

Chris Eubank Snr (right in tweed jacked) said with certainty his son's camp were not involved

Chris Eubank Snr (right in tweed jacked) said with certainty his son’s camp were not involved

Both boxers denied involvement and each blamed the rival camp during a heated exchange at the press conference. 

When DeGale was asked by a journalist whether he was the one to block Groves from taking the mic the exchange went as follows: ‘It isn’t me, it’s probably p**** Chris.’

Eubank Jr: ‘I have no problem with George being on the broadcasting list, if he’s not there it’s only because this man doesn’t want him there (points at DeGale). If he says he doesn’t have a problem with Groves being there then we’ll see him on the night. 

Degale: ‘I’m not that kind of man, you know me. I want to know the answer to this because it ain’t me. I wouldn’t do that, I want him on the thing. Let him have his time, I don’t care.’

At this point Chris Eubank Sr waded in from the side of the stage, adamant that the opposition to Groves’ involvement did not come from his son’s side.  

Groves still expects to be part of the ITV commentary team for the fight this Saturday

Groves still expects to be part of the ITV commentary team for the fight this Saturday

Groves still expects to be part of the ITV commentary team for the fight this Saturday

James DeGale lost to Groves early in his career with Chris Eubank Jnr losing last year

James DeGale lost to Groves early in his career with Chris Eubank Jnr losing last year

Eubank Jnr is under huge pressure to win against his domestic rival

Eubank Jnr is under huge pressure to win against his domestic rival

DeGale (left) lost to Groves early in his career with Eubank Jnr losing to ‘Saint’ last year

Eubank Sr: ‘I will say this, as I know it isn’t us it must be your side. Therefore it may not be you but it could be your parents. 

DeGale: ‘That is nothing to do with it, they’re not involved in that stuff. 

Eubank Sr: ‘Groves should be a broadcaster on this ITV fight. It is not us and I understand perfectly that your mother is in control of your career.’ 

Groves, who beat DeGale early in their careers and defeated Eubank before retiring, expected to launch himself as a broadcast analyst at the O2.

Eubank’s loss was more emphatic and it is believed that he and his legendary father suspected he would be negative in his remarks about Junior.   

Chris Eubank Sr is concerned that his son does not have the skills to beat 'Chunky'

Chris Eubank Sr is concerned that his son does not have the skills to beat 'Chunky'

Chris Eubank Sr is concerned that his son does not have the skills to beat ‘Chunky’

The Saint could hardly have been more critical than Eubank Sr when speaking about his son at the final press conference. 

Chris the elder said: ‘I’m petrified Junior will lose this fight. 

‘Physically he will be there but one reason I respect James is that he has the achievements and experience to prove he has the spiritual element which I had.’   

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