By Nick Parkinson, courtesy of The Daily Star
JAMES DEGALE has reinvented himself in his mission to hunt down George Groves.
The Londoner has returned to the tactics that won him Olympic gold in 2008 for his first defence of his European super- middleweight title on Saturday.
DeGale, 26, travels to Denmark to face Cristian Sanavia, 37, after the Italian’s promoter won the purse bids for the fight.
But DeGale has shrugged off the inconvenience of boxing abroad as he sees it as an important step towards a rematch with bitter rival Groves.
British king Groves, 24, beat DeGale on a close points decision last year and is now preparing for a world title shot against Germany-based Robert Stieglitz, the WBO champion, on May 5.
DeGale hopes his style makeover and a Groves victory next month will once again see the pair on a collision course.
He said: “It’s a nuts one, Groves getting the Stieglitz world title shot. He must be getting that fight just for his win over me.
“He’s getting a mandatory position to fight for the world title for beating me but I won the European title in my next fight after him.
“So I’ve got a better title than him now but he still gets the world title shot? It doesn’t make sense but once again it’s boxing politics.
“But best of luck to him and he’s got a good chance of beating Stieglitz, who has been knocked out every time he has stepped up a level and has got a padded record.
“A rematch with Groves would be massive in Britain for whatever title. It’s a genuine needle fight.
“I’m ranked No.5 by the WBO so in a couple of defences of my European title and providing Groves wins the WBO title, I should then be his mandatory challenger. He will have to fight me so it could happen again soon.”
DeGale admits he made mistakes against Groves and then Pole Piotr Wilczewski, who he beat on points in October so he’s gone back to basics.
He said: “I’ve gone back to how I used to box which is how I won the gold medal.
“I’ve tried to mix it and entertain too much in recent fights.
“But I don’t have to do that. First and foremost I have to make sure I win.”
“I’ve gone back to boxing with a tight guard and there won’t be many who can beat me like that.”