James DeGale would consider fighting George Groves after Andre Dirrell
'Building and unifying'
Last Updated: 08/04/15 4:08pm
James DeGale is dreaming of a unification fight against heated rival George Groves if they both capture world titles this year.
The super-middleweight contender fights Andre Dirrell for the vacant IBF title on May 23 in Boston in the United States while Groves is aiming to secure a shot at Dirrell's younger brother Anthony, the WBC champion.
And DeGale is already looking ahead to bigger and better things should he return from America with the belt – and a rematch with Groves could finally be on the agenda.
He told Sky Sports: “Once you’ve won the title it’s about building and unifying, and being in those great, exciting fights. That’s what I plan to do, but first I need to get past Dirrell which is a hard, hard task in itself.
“I’m confident in doing that and after, it will get bigger and bigger.
“Groves is a possibility but he’s got his own path, he’ll be boxing for the WBC title at the end of the year. So that’s a massive fight – imagine unifying titles with two English fighters.”
Once you’ve won the title it’s about building and unifying, and being in those great, exciting fights. That’s what I plan to do, but first I need to get past Dirrell.
DeGale’s only defeat in 20 professional bouts was against long-time rival Groves for the British and Commonwealth titles in May 2011.
And although that defeat initially irked DeGale, he believes his reputation has soared beyond Groves’ ahead of a possible second bout.
He said: “After that defeat, for a year, it did bother me that I’ve got a loss on my record to him. But you move on – I’ve had 10 fights since then, won the European title, boxed top 10 contenders, and now I’m boxing for the world title.
“I’ve come on a whole heap, and achieved a whole heap so he’s not constantly on my mind, but it’s a big fight for British boxing.
“I was on a different channel and boxing at shopping centres and he gave me a lot of stick. It’s weird how things change. Now I’m on Sky, boxing for a world title, topping my own bill in America and making good money.
“The roles have reversed. Last time, I was the villain but people are starting to find out about George Groves.”
There is more from this week’s Toe 2 Toe, including Scott Quigg, Jamie McDonnell and Josh Warrington. There are more Sky Sports podcasts at www.skysports.com/podcasts.