14th June 2011

Trainer Jim McDonnell – jimmymcdonnell.com
Jim McDonnell trainer of James DeGale believes that his charge will come back a better fighter after his points loss to George Groves last month and cant wait to get back in the ring in September.
McDonnell speaking on the Main Event Boxing Radio show on Monday, McDonnell says ‘Chunky’ has taken positives out of the loss and has bounced back mentally, already in training for his return to the ring after his setback against Groves.
“The fights done and dusted, looking at it from our point of view we thought we won the contest, but listen whats done is done. said McDonnell, the former two time world title challenger.

“What James has got to do now is move onwards and upwards and that’s exactly what he’s going to do. James is back in the gym, back in training, he’s a very positive person, he isn’t looking back he’s looking forward, he knows where he is going to be, he is going to be world champion and this is an experience of that journey.”

Asked by show host Barkery Jammeh if DeGales name calling and the disrespect shown towards Groves in the build up to the fight, had any bearing on the out come and result.


“You get the good guy, bad guy thing at the pantomime, they boo the bad guy and they cheer the good guy. said McDonnell.

“So leading into the fight that was the general consensus that people created.

“James never said anything at all that was in any way shape or form disrespectful to Groves, it was no big deal. And what people have to realise with professional boxing, Its a business!

“If James DeGale wasn’t on the bill, there would have been 21,000 people there. The people came to see James DeGale, no disrespect they didn’t come to see anyone else on the card.

“James is the star in the making, out of it George Groves earned the best purse of his career. So looking at it the general perception of the crowd, people will agree it the roar of the crowd definitely effected the judgement of the judges.

“Because I think if they had earphones on their heads, they would have seen the fight like most people seen it. 80% of the people I speak to believe James won the fight. But they go by the roar of the crowd, they go with whats happening and it had an effect and a negative outcome has far as James is concerned that I thought he deserved to get.

DeGale v Groves – Full fight Video

“But he didn’t so good luck to Mr. Groves and good luck to him in his future.” added McDonnell.
McDonnell believes that out of the dark comes the light and that losing his ‘0’ DeGale, the former Olympic gold medalist, can now shed the pressure that he was under to perform and protect his unbeaten record, to become a better fighter for it.

“I think in James’ next fight your going to see the performance of his career. The positives to come out of the fight after the result, James has bounced back mentally.

“He’s looked at the fight on telly with licensed referees and scored it and got their opinions. But basically what James is going to do now is come out of this, so positive and constructive, he is a very mentally strong kid and at the moment he is back in the gym training and to see the freedom in him as an individual, he just cant wait to get back in there, he really cant.

McDonnell with DeGale

“But out of that one loss you can learn more than 10 victories, you know you cant fight the nation, you cant fight the public. I think public perception had a lot to do with the out-come of that fight

“We took more positives from the fight than negatives, James didn’t agree with the result, but he has accepted it. He is ready to move onwards and upwards and conquer the world.
“Frank (Warren) was talking about July, but he had a very hard camp and got a nik on the eye, so we want to take the right route and Frank is now looking to get him out in September, he is in training now so that is the date.” added McDonnell. 
Jim McDonnell, was a former European Champion in the Featherweight division represented Britain at the 1982 Commonwealth games. He started his professional career soon after the Brisbane Games, winning his first 24 fights.

He won a European title during this run before getting his chance to fight for a world title. Unfortunately Jim was facing a great Super-featherweight champion in Brian Mitchell. Mitchell had only lost one fight against Jacob Morake and this defeat was avenged an amazing three times.

McDonnell lost the fight over 12 rounds at a packed Elephant & Castle but rebounded with two more wins including a 4th round stoppage ending Barry McGuigan’s career.

Challenging once more for the World Super-Featherweight title Jim faced off with another ring legend in the great Azumah Nelson and lost by 12th round stoppage but was leading on the scorecards at the time.


Jim was extremely unlucky not to win a World title and would surely have won one in today’s climate and no doubt could have won the IBF or WBO during his career but he was adamant he only wanted to fight for the WBC or WBA titles as the IBF and WBO at that time were fledgling sanctioning bodies. After retiring from boxing Jim continues to have great success as a trainer and is probably one of the best trainers in the world today famously masterminding Danny Williams’ victory over Mike Tyson.

He fought 5 World Champs defeated 3 of them. Fought twice for world title losing epic battles to Brian Mitchell and Azumah Nelson who is widely thought of as the best ever African boxer at any weight.

After retiring from the ring in 1998 he turned to training and has carved out another stella career being feared, respected and loved by many fine athletes. He maintains his own fitness to the very highest standard both as a benchmark for his ‘students’ but also for his own self esteem. read more about Jim McDonnell and his career at www.jimmymcdonnell.com

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