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George Groves must concentrate on rebuilding his career now, insists Jim McDonnell

PUBLISHED: 07:00 17 September 2015 | UPDATED: 01:22 20 November 2015

James DeGale's trainer, Jim McDonnell, has refused to rule out a rematch between the Harlesden boxer and George Groves, but says the latter should concentrate on rebuilding his career before any future bout.

James DeGale’s trainer, Jim McDonnell, has refused to rule out a rematch between the Harlesden boxer and George Groves, but says the latter should concentrate on rebuilding his career before any future bout.

Groves fell to a demoralising third successive world title defeat at the hands of WBC super-middleweight champion Badou Jack on Saturday night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

The 27-year-old turned down the opportunity to fight DeGale – his former Dale Youth ABC rival who he has beaten twice in the past – at Wembley this summer, a decision that may come back to haunt him after his latest defeat.

McDonnell now believes it would be in Groves’ best interests to have some time away from the spotlight and evaluate his next move, instead of looking to head straight into a bout with his arch-rival. He told the Times: “If George had won last weekend that would have been a massive fight between James and him.

“It’s unlikely now, but you can never say never in boxing. James is in control, he’s IBF super-middleweight champion.

“I think George now has to come back fighting and work his way back into a position of strength. It would be a huge risk for him coming out and looking to fight James now straight on the back of a world title defeat.

“He needs to have a couple of fights building himself up to another big event, be that against James or someone else. I’m sure he and his team will evaluate all the options open to them and pick the best route for George.”

DeGale himself has also said he is prepared to fight Groves in the future, but says he will be calling the shots if an agreement is to be made.

He said: “It was the wrong move from George [fighting Jack]. If the British public still want the fight between us and there’s the demand for it let’s do it, but we have to negotiate the package.

“I can have 90 per cent of the cut and he can have 10 per cent. I’m the one in control. I’m back in the gym now and raring to go. My next fight will be in early November. It’s just a case of waiting for the call now for confirmation.

“It will be against a good fighter abroad and a former world champion who held the title for a long time.”

The announcement of DeGale’s next opponent was expected as the Times went to press but it is believed to be 10-time IBF super-middleweight champion Lucian Bute.

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