James DeGale created history in Boston on Saturday but having now completed his mission of winning a world title, what’s next for the super-middleweight champion?
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The 29-year-old is adamant that he can defeat any of his rivals in the division on his night, and it remains to be seen who promoter Eddie Hearn has lined up for him in his next fight which will likely take place later this year.
Carl Froch, Andre Ward and Arthur Abraham will all be discussed moving forward, but the one that all British fans will be hoping for is DeGale vs George Groves 2.
Their rivalry dates back to their amateur days when Groves defeated DeGale before he repeated the feat in the professional ranks back in 2011.
While many contested that DeGale could easily have got the nod on that night, ultimately he didn’t and it left him with a blemish on his record, the only one since turning pro. Further, the animosity between the pair ensured that the fight gained significant attention, and with both going on to bigger and better things since, a rematch next year would certainly be a huge event.
Having now realised his dream of making history and becoming the first British Olympic gold medallist to become a world champion as a professional, ‘Chunky’ will be looking to continue his rise to the top and will willingly take on the best standing in his way.
However, a rematch with Groves would certainly warrant another huge night at Wembley, and provided that ‘the Saint’ can defeat Badou Jack later this year for the WBC belt, a unification bout would undoubtedly add further intrigue.
Their dislike towards one another is genuine, and DeGale now knows that he went about preparation for the first meeting in completely the wrong way. The Harlesden-born star allowed Groves to get under his skin, much in the same way as Froch did before his first clash with Groves.
The difference now is that DeGale has matured and although their more recent visit to the ‘Ringside’ set showed there is still tension between them, he will have learned his lessons and will want to avoid repeating his mistakes from four years ago.
There is no doubting that DeGale vs Groves 2 could be bigger than Froch vs Groves 2 at Wembley last May. This rivalry has been brewing for years and as they both look to become world champions the stakes are only getting higher.
Add a pair of world titles and 80,000 fans at Wembley on another sensational night for British boxing to the mix, and it could well be the perfect fight for the pair next summer. DeGale has delivered on his side of the deal, now all eyes will be on Groves to see if he can follow suit and take us all a step closer to one of the most anticipated fights in boxing.