George Groves keen on James DeGale rematch - but only for a world title
10:12 17 September 2014
PA Archive/Press Association Images
George Groves says he would fight fellow Dale Youth graduate James DeGale again, but only if the former Olympic champion wins a world title.
The 26-year-old is aiming to bounce back from consecutive defeats to Carl Froch, when he takes on Christopher Rebrasse in a WBC super-middleweight title eliminator at the SSE Arena in Wembley on Saturday.
And the Hammersmith-born fighter is confident that should the pair meet again, he would win far more comprehensively than the first time the local rivals clashed at the O2 Arena in May 2011.
“I don’t actually think James has improved much over the last few years to be honest,” said Groves.
“He looks unmotivated to me. I know I would be if I was in his position – being an Olympic champion and having to travel to places like Bristol and fight in front of a hand-full of people.
“He’s chasing a big fight and he’s hoping he gets the one against Froch. But the truth is, Froch might not be interested. You never know, it might not sell and just might not be financially viable.
“If he wants to earn the big money he knows he is going to have to fight me, but he knows that he’ll have to get a belt first; otherwise I’m not interested.
“The build-up would be exciting though, it’s definitely a fight I would like.”
Groves has revealed that he was moved by messages he has received from Mickey Delaney, his former coach at Dale Youth, since his second loss to Froch in May.
Groves has trained at the Ladbroke Grove gym since he was a youngster, and says the messages of support brought out his emotional side.
He said: “I’m not the type of guy that needs a pat on the back, or an arm around me, I’m not normally an emotional person.
“But the message I got from Mickey [Delaney] and everyone else at Dale really moved me. It was really sweet.
“In fact, Mickey’s coming to my next fight. He’s really excited and it will be good to have him there.
“The people at the club are so supportive, if I ever need anything then they are always there.
“They text me messages of support and are full of positive vibes.
“When you lose a fight like I did, you see who’s genuine and those guys really are. It’s so nice to have that.”
George Groves faces European super-middleweight champion Christopher Rebrasse in a final eliminator for the WBC world title at the SSE Arena live on Sky Sports. Tickets are available via ssearena.co.uk and axs.com or by calling 08448 24 48 24.
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