As expected, live on Sky Sports News just moments ago Eddie Hearn announced that James ‘Chunky’ DeGale has joined the Matchroom stable, stating further that the WBC Silver super-middleweight champion will feature on the Froch-Groves bill in May.
Chunky is set to face undefeated American Brandon Gonzalez in an IBF final eliminator, with the victor guaranteed to have a crack at the winner between Froch and Groves.
DeGale via his Facebook page a week or so ago had confirmed that he had agreed to face Gonzalez, who is trained by highly respected Virgil Hunter, and the Olympic gold medallist is well aware of the threat that ‘Flawless’ presents. ‘He can box on the back-foot…I can’t overlook him,’ said DeGale to Sky Sports News today, but added that the prospect of facing either Froch or Groves excites him: ‘Froch is made for me…Groves is more personal.’
Should George Groves dethrone ‘The Cobra’ and take the IBF and WBA straps then what is on offer for the end of the year is a rematch that can undoubtedly surpass the magnitude of Froch-Groves II; there was plenty of needle in the build-up to the first Groves and DeGale encounter with the result ending in a close split-decision that favoured Groves, but a rematch with world titles on the line would, in my opinion, take British boxing to another level.
DeGale has openly admitted to feeling depressed for much of the last year due to the slow progression of his career, and said to the media regarding his move to Matchroom that he already feels happy in such a short time given that the big fights are right in front of him: ‘In seven weeks time I’m going to be a beast…you will see the best James DeGale in future fights,’ also adding that, ‘the future’s looking bright.’
Hennessey Sports yesterday released a statement highlighting that they are seeking legal advice to take possible action against DeGale and any other body that may have contributed to his decision to leave the banner, but the fact is that the Harlesden southpaw has been flying well under the radar and as an Olympic gold medallist and world title contender he should be a household name by now; needless to say I believe wholeheartedly that he has made the best decision for his career, not only in leaving Mick Hennessey but in joining Hearn’s vastly impressive stable of fighters.
I very much look forward to seeing the journey that DeGale takes with Matchroom and how the whole Froch-Groves-DeGale saga plays out.