• Super-middleweight

DeGale 'doesn't need' Groves repeat

ESPN staff
September 27, 2012
James DeGale wants to fight George Groves again in the future - but not yet © Getty Images

European super-middleweight champion James DeGale insists he has rediscovered his focus as he looks to take his career to the next level - but will not be searching for an imminent rematch against rival George Groves.

DeGale, 26, recently changed promoter in a bid to spark his flagging career - and will return to the ring on October 13 against an opponent still to be named as he aims to build for a world title shot.

And the former Olympic champion insists he has the hunger back, with the prospect of terrestrial television exposure motivating him.

"I've got the buzz back," said DeGale. "This is something new, something fresh, it's exciting.

"I haven't boxed on terrestrial TV since my Olympic final four years ago. I was a household name, but things all went a bit flat. With this new deal, I've got the hunger back.

"[New promoter] Mick [Hennessy]'s last couple of shows have got two million-plus viewers. As an Olympic champion, things can go through the roof."

DeGale's professional career has so far been defined by his narrow loss to Groves, a fighter who came through the same gym as him. A rematch between the two has long been mooted - but DeGale insists he does not need, or want, the grudge match just yet.

He admits, however, that some of his comments before the first meeting damaged his public image.

"I want people to see me in a different light," said DeGale. "People who know me know I'm genuine, I'm nice.

"In the build-up [to the first fight], you don't realise what you are doing because behind the scenes, someone is going, 'Yeah, Chunky, do it, you're funny'.

"You are getting the stick, but you don't realise until after, when you read comments on Facebook, that people didn't take things that well.

"I'm 26 now. I've matured. Groves is out of my system. That rematch will happen, somewhere along the line.

"I don't need Groves. I am on terrestrial TV defending my European title and top of the bill - what more is there?"

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