• Inside Boxing

Groves: I won't sell myself short for DeGale

Nick Parkinson
February 10, 2015
George Groves has yet to decide whether he will have another interim fight before his shot at the WBC title © Getty Images

George Groves is prepared to wait for his WBC world title shot in the second half of 2015 after claiming a 50-50 offer for a rematch against James DeGale is not enough to tempt him.

American Anthony Dirrell has been given an extra four months to fulfil a mandatory defence of the WBC world super-middleweight title against Briton Groves.

Groves has yet to decide if he will have another interim fight before challenging for the WBC title, but has turned down an offer to face fellow Londoner DeGale, whom he beat on points in 2011, at the O2 Arena on April 25.

DeGale is now instead being lined up to face Andre Dirrell - Anthony's brother - on April 25.

"They will have to pay good money to get Andre over here and a fight against me will sell more and Sky Sports know that," Groves told ESPN.

"April 25 is the date that [promoter] Eddie Hearn pitched to my promoters Kalle and Nisse Sauerland. I'm not going to be held to ransom though. I'm not prepared to walk away from the WBC shot after putting in all that hard work to get it for an offer I'm not happy about, I would rather wait for the WBC fight.

"I will box James any day of the week but right now they are talking about a 50-50 split. They can only get away with that because of Eddie Hearn's popularity and his position at Sky Sports. James has no commercial marketability unless he fights me. I boxed in front of 80,000 fans at Wembley Stadium last year but James has been fighting at leisure centres and shopping centres.

"They need to be sensible with me for an offer and at this moment in time I'm not in a rush to sell myself short."

Cancer survivor Dirrell, who won the belt from Sakio Bika in August, intends to fight another opponent - possibly America-based Swede Badou Jack - before facing Groves.

Groves, 26, has yet to decide whether he will have another interim fight before his shot at the WBC title, after winning an eliminator for the title in September.

"We were shocked to hear that he had got the four-month extension in making his mandatory defence," Groves told ESPN.

"I'm still figuring it out and it's not cut and dry. There's some stuff that needs to be explained a bit better so my promoters [Team Sauerland] are talking to the WBC. I don't think it's fair on me and I want some answers.

"As soon as we have a definitive answer from the WBC as to the exact stipulation of the extension and when I might challenge for it, what it means and and why it was given in the first place, then I will decide when I might box again.

"Worse case scenario is I have to wait another four months. His management team Al Haymon has got a new thing on NBC in America which will be massive for the sport and I would love to be involved in it. I would love to box out in the States and we are looking at that.

"I had a busy year last year so not hitting the ground running in 2015 is not such a big deal and it's out of our hands."

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