DeGale eyes world title after joining Hearn

James DeGale has been handed a chance to fight the winner of the world title rematch between George Groves and Carl Froch after signing with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom promotional stable.

DeGale will face the unbeaten Brandon Gonzalez in a final eliminator for the International Boxing Federation super-middleweight title on the undercard of Groves’ clash with Froch at Wembley Stadium on 31 May.

Hearn, who also promotes both Froch and Groves, snapped DeGale up after the Harlesden man split with Mick Hennessy, his promoter since 2012.

It paves the way for a possible rematch with his arch-rival and fellow West Londoner Groves, who is preparing for his second attempt to take Froch’s IBF and World Boxing Association belts.

Eddie Hearn with Car Froch and George Groves
Hearn also promotes Froch and Groves

Groves, who won narrowly on points against DeGale in May 2011, appeared to be on his way to dethroning Froch in November last year before referee Howard Foster controversially stopped the fight following a flurry a shots by the champion.

DeGale had been due to face Badou Jack in an eliminator for the World Boxing Council crown currently held by Sakio Bika, but that path to a world title became complicated when Jack suffered a surprise defeat in what was supposed to be warm-up fight.

Clearly frustrated with Hennessy’s apparent failure to secure him a world title opportunity, DeGale had hinted that he could seek to move on.

And he believes signing with Hearn will reignite his career.

“I’m back, I’m back big,” he declared.

“The last year or so has been very frustrating for me. If I’m brutally honest, I’ve been depressed but that’s the past and I am looking forward to the future.

“Potentially the fights out there for me are crazy. But I can’t look past Gonzales, this guy is unbeaten and is a good fighter.”

American Gonzalez, 29, has a record of 18-0-1 (10 stoppages). His last outing was a points win in November against the previously unbeaten Jonathan Nelson.

DeGale added: “After I have dealt with him then the big fights are there and that’s what I need to motivate me and to get me boxing the best I can.

“The future is looking extremely bright so fasten your seatbelts. Enjoy the ride with me because it should be exciting and I’m looking forward to it.”

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