Tuesday, February 27, 2024  |



Groves: No rematch for DeGale

Fighters Network

New British and Commonwealth super middleweight champion George Groves is in no rush to jump back into the ring with James DeGale, insisting his bitter west London rival has nothing to offer him en route to a world title shot.

DeGale’s manager, Frank Warren, immediately demanded a rematch between the pair after Groves snatched a debatable majority points decision at the London 02 Arena on Saturday night and extended his unbeaten professional record to 13 straight wins.

While accepting that DeGale (11-1, 8 knockouts) needed to do more to convince the ringside judges of his superiority, Warren still argued his man should have won and called on the British Boxing Board of Control to order a second showdown.

However, the morning after the fight, Groves, sporting a face full of cuts, scars and bruises, dismissed Warren’s remarks as those of a bad loser and made it clear to DeGale that he will have to wait his turn for another opportunity.

“There were always going to be calls for a rematch but I’ve beaten him twice now – once in the amateurs and now as professional. The scorecards were tight but I only let him into the fight slightly. Frank Warren is deluded on that one,” said the 23-year-old Groves (13-0, 10 KOs).

“I’m moving onto bigger and better things now. No doubt our paths will cross again but at the moment James doesn’t offer much. He has no titles and is coming off the back of a loss. I’ve got two and I’m looking to progress.

“It might happen in the future but I’m not bothered because I’m 2-0 over him. If I beat him again, though, it would be the end to James DeGale. At this moment, he has a chance to go back and rebuild.

"My plan was always to become world champion and that’s still the ambition. The British title is one of the prettiest around and, having added that to my collection, I’m now out searching for a new one.”

Carl Froch, the WBC super middleweight titleholder, stated last week that he would love to meet the winner of ‘The Grudge’ battle on UK soil around 18 months from now.

And, while a lot can happen before then, Groves feels a match up against Nottingham’s Froch (27-1, 20 KOs), who faces Glen Johnson in the Super Six semifinals on June 4, could be in the cards.

“I’m more likely to fight Froch in a couple of years’ time because he said he would be happy to fight whoever won out of me and James,” he said.

Groves, who had claimed the Commonwealth belt back in April 2010, admitted he feared the referee was going to end Saturday's bloody scrap early when a vicious clash of heads in round nine left both men with serious eye cuts.

"In one round I remember thinking, 'What are the rules? Does it go to the scorecards? Will the fight be stopped?’ There was one time the referee came to have a look at me and I said, 'Please let me carry on, I'm fine'. He knew I was fine and the bout went on,” Groves said.

"It's always good for the viewing public when there is plenty of claret flying about!"