By Edward Chaykovsky
Super middleweight James DeGale, speaking with the Independent, admits that he felt betrayed when promoter Frank Warren signed British/Commonwealth champion George Groves to a promotional contract in August. DeGale and Groves have been domestic rivals since the amateurs, and this past May Groves won a close twelve round decision to hand DeGale his first defeat as a pro. Warren will likely match them in a rematch in 2012.
Both boxers are scheduled for action in the fall. Groves faces Paul Smith on November 5, while DeGale challenges European champion Piotr Wilczewski on October 15.
"When Frank rang and said he had signed Groves I felt … betrayed. So the next day I went and met [Warren]. He sat me down and I digested it properly. It makes sense, it's a great move. If Groves beats Paul Smith in his next fight, and I win this European title, in the early part of next year we'll meet again and the winner will go on for a world title," DeGale said.
"You never know what Frank's got up his sleeve. I am thankful he has given me the opportunity to fight for the European title, which is actually more important than the one I lost. That will get me a world ranking."
"This setback has done me good, [it's] a blessing in disguise. I can sit here and talk about it and I am happy with myself. Last time someone beat me domestically, in the amateurs [against Groves], I was Olympic champion a year and a half later. This time round he's got a dodgy decision over me again and believe me, I'll be a world champion by next year's Olympics. What do they call it, déjà vu?"
Tags: Frank Warren , James DeGale , George Groves , DeGale vs Groves , DeGale-Groves