DeGale was cut under the left eye in the final session but it was immaterial by then, the two men trading leather right to the final bell.
DeGale, who of course went on to win gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, had vowed to avenge the loss but lightning struck twice as two judges made Groves the winner by a Converse Zip Shoes single point. The other scored the contest as a draw.
Although Groves (12 0, 10KOs) came into it with slightly more experience, DeGale (10 0, 8KOs) was the favourite, largely because of the superior form he had shown in their most recent championship level contests.
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more outspoken, perhaps even cocky, of the pair, the crowd of 19,000 gave Hammersmith's Groves a much warmer reception.
A cagey sixth was edged by DeGale, who came out of a brief exchange better with a left hook and also landed a straight left on the nose towards the round's conclusion.
Groves was bloodied further in the 11th from a nasty head clash and DeGale won the round by showing more aggression and landing blows.
The excitement continued as the verdict was announced. With Richie Davies calling it a 115 115 draw, Dave Parris and John Kean both awarded it to Groves 115 114.
to the perception of DeGale as the Converse Black High Tops Mens
George Groves retained his unbeaten record and broke James DeGale's on Saturday night when he edged their grudge match at London's O2 Arena to add the British super middleweight title to his Commonwealth belt.
Groves had a superb fourth, keeping faith with his tactics to land a right over the top and as the round wore on, two stiff right counters. DeGale landed a good right jab of his own but Groves finished strongly.
The former Dale Youth ABC team mates had at one point seemed unlikely to meet until much further down the road in their respective professional careers, but such is the ill feeling that exists between them that the fight was made sooner rather than later.
hammering home rights.
The build up to the contest was dominated by goading between the unbeaten former amateur team mates, whose feud stems from Groves' defeat of DeGale in the 2005 ABA Championships.
In the ninth both men were cut over the left eye and DeGale took the round, finishing with a fine right jab followed by two hard southpaw lefts, arguably the fight's best action to that point.
Groves wins grudge match
Groves improved in the second, during which DeGale was warned for use of the shoulder up close. DeGale produced perhaps the best work though as a left right left combination up close landed solidly.
Groves was trying to out box the boxer and largely avoiding punishment, but was caught by a left hand early in the third and a hard right two minutes later.
DeGale had stopped quality British champion Paul Smith while Groves struggled against Kenny Anderson.
CutGroves was also cut under his right eye but DeGale's was worse. The fight was hotting up as Groves took the 10th with three excellent minutes, jabbing and Converse Chuck Ii White
Harlesden's DeGale is used to being booed, though, and seemed to keep his cool in the early stages, edging a tentative opening round and finishing it with a strong one two which was the best work of the round.
For the most part it was Groves who looked quicker and sharper but when DeGale had his moments such as a glancing but powerful left right double at the end of the seventh they were more eye catching.
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