Smith can beat Groves, says DeGale

James DeGale believes arch rival George Groves could come unstuck against Paul Smith.

Liverpudlian Smith will challenge the unbeaten Groves for his British and Commonwealth super-middleweight titles on 5 November.

It will be Groves’ first fight since his split-decision victory over fellow West Londoner DeGale, who last year dethroned Smith as British champion by stopping him in the ninth round.

That one-sided defeat to the Harlesden man is one of the reasons Smith will be the underdog when we takes on Groves at Wembley Arena.

But DeGale told West London Sport: “That fight aint a forgone conclusion, please believe me. Paul Smith is a seasoned professional who’s been there and done it.

Groves took DeGale's British title when they met in May

“When Groves fought me he knew that if he mixed it he’d get knocked out. If he mixes it with Smith and gets hit on his chin he’ll be gone – everyone knows about Groves’ chin.

“You have to go on form and past results and say that Groves is the favourite. But if Smith connects cleanly on him, he’ll get knocked out.”

DeGale, 25, will get his first outing since the Groves loss when he faces European champion Piotr Wilczewski at the Liverpool Echo Arena on 15 October.

A win against the Pole, who has lost only one of his 30 fights, would put DeGale in the frame for a world title shot or a rematch with Groves.

“I want to get that European title and then move on and get a world title as soon as I can – I’m raring to go,” DeGale added.

“Groves says he wants to move on to bigger and better things, yet he’s fighting a guy I stopped in nine rounds.”