By James Wilson
An eventful two weeks for London’s James DeGale, 14-1 (9), continued when he relinquished the European Super middleweight title earlier this week in order to concentrate on defending the WBC’s Silver 168lb title. Team DeGale today confirmed that they have penciled in a mid-February date for his next fight, with the opponent, venue and other details to be announced early in the New Year.
Indeed DeGale himself is possibly only a few fights away from a world title tilt considering his high rankings with the world governing bodies. The regularity with which DeGale is fighting is a positive and may be edging him ahead of his great rival, and only man to have beaten him as a pro, George Groves.
Hammersmith’s Groves, 16-0 (12), hammered the tough but now very old Glen Johnson to a decision defeat on December 15. His trainer Adam Booth told him during the fight that he needed to box with 'imagination but discipline.' Quite what “The Dark lord” meant by that was lost on most; however, it did the trick as Groves won every round.
Groves appears unlikely to fight for the WBO title next despite being in line to take the number one challenger spot when the rankings are next revised (Groves was ranked #2, behind Mikkel Kessler, in the previous rankings.) Ironically, Groves could now be in line to contest the EBU title now that the title is vacant.
One thing is for sure, the two big rivals are both very close to world title fights and should one win a world crown then a rematch suddenly becomes a distinct possibility. With Carl Froch also firmly established in the mix at the very top of this tough division 2013 could be a very exciting year for British boxing in the Super middleweight division.