DeGale eyes rematch with ‘chicken’ Groves

James DeGale believes his European title challenge could pave the way for a rematch against George Groves.
DeGale will take on champion Piotr Wilczewski of Poland next month, with the date and venue expected to be confirmed on Monday.
It will be DeGale’s first fight since he lost his British super-middleweight title – and his unbeaten record – against fellow west Londoner Groves in May.
DeGale said: “It’s been seven or eight weeks since the Groves fight. I’ve been on holiday, got it out of my system and have moved on.
“I thought I won that fight – loads of people did. I can’t believe someone can win a title by throwing so few punches. Every time I hit him I hurt him, and he ran around the ring like a chicken.
“I did learn loads in that fight. The main thing is that I will never, ever allow someone to nick a fight off me like that again. I fought the first eight rounds like it was a sparring session.
“Hopefully now I’ll get that European title – it won’t be a walkover, it’ll be a tough fight. Then hopefully Groves will want to fight and won’t be a chicken. I just hope Groves keeps winning – that’s the real question.
“After my next fight, if bigger and better things come along I’ll take that. But if the public want it [a rematch], and Groves wants it, then fine. But Groves needs me more than I need him.
Harlesden's DeGale lost against Groves on a split decision

“I want a rematch. I wanted it straight after the fight and told [promoter] Frank Warren that. But Groves and his people didn’t want it.”

Wilczewski has lost only once in 30 fights and is ranked number two by the World Boxing Organisation.

The bout has been billed as a crossroads for DeGale, 25, as he cannot afford another defeat at this stage of his career.

He hopes to follow in the footsteps of Amir Khan, who bounced back from his first professional loss to become a world champion.

But unlike Khan, he is determined to resist calls to make wholesale changes and move to the United States.

He said: “People have said I should change trainer and move to America – do what Amir Khan did. But I’m thinking ‘so if I’d got that decision against Groves, you wouldn’t say that?’ It doesn’t make sense.

“It was such a close fight and I learned the lessons from that, so I don’t need to make those changes. I won’t make those mistakes again.”