By Ben Jacobs
BoxingScene recently caught up with Jim McDonnell, trainer of WBC silver super middleweight champion James DeGale who recently overcame Dyah Davis in the third defence of his title. McDonnell discussed DeGale’s next move and the recent controversial fight between Carl Froch and George Groves.
BoxingScene.com: Does it look like James will be in a world title eliminator in his next fight?
They’re talking about [Marco Antonio] Peribán next for hopefully a final eliminator; if it’s against him it will be perfect. Peribán has boxed for the world title before. He’s another fighter that will help James get momentum. Once he’s got his momentum, he will be successful. An active James DeGale is a productive James DeGale. It’s due to take place in February, we’re waiting to hear from the WBC right now. If we get that rubber stamped as a final eliminator which I hope we will, then come May or June James should box for the WBC world title against the winner of Sakio Bika and Anthony Dirrell. He’ll make history by becoming the first British gold medalist from the Olympics to become a world champion.
BoxingScene.com: What are your thoughts on the recent fight between Carl Froch and George Groves?
I want to congratulate both fighters, I think it was fight of the year. It was a great advert for the sport, really. Both guys laid it all on the line. Give a lot of credit to George, he went out there and took the fight by the scruff of the neck, he told everyone what he was going to do. He didn’t just talk it he walked it. You’ve got to give Froch tremendous credit after going down the way he did. It was a hell of a fight. But it’s James DeGale’s time now. Once he wins his world title, we’ll see who the best in the world is. I’m really confident of James ruling the 12 stone (168lbs) division.
BoxingScene.com: Do you think Froch is now past his best or was it a question of Groves being very good?
Froch is only 36. You can look at Bernard Hopkins who’s 48 and still boxing at the top of his game. I think it’s not so much Froch’s age, it was more down to Groves, his style is all wrong for Froch. He’s got fast hands and James will also be all wrong for Froch, he’s said that from day one. I’ll tell you straight, James has said to me for the last year, whenever he watches a Froch fight he gets up in my front room and tells me that Froch won’t win a round against him. He’s that confident. He’s even more confident after watching the other night. Once James is WBC champion, if Froch has still got a belt, then bring it on.
BoxingScene.com: Was it stopped too early?
I think in a world title fight, I mean when I fought Azumah Nelson I got stopped in the twelfth round with 41 seconds left. As a fighter, of course you want the fight to go on. Looking at it from where I’m standing I would be absolutely gutted if I was George Groves and the fight got stopped. Having said that, Groves’ work rate dropped off quite dramatically from what it was in the first half of the fight. I don’t know how tired he was. I just think Froch has proved in the past he would have been dangerous right to the end.
BoxingScene.com: Do you think Groves would win in a rematch?
I think that’s the experience he needed to win a world title, I think that George needed to make the next step so in a rematch with Carl, obviously Carl would come into the ring and show George a lot more respect, give him a lot more kudos in the build up. I think I would lean towards George, I think Groves could possibly pull it off. James would be too fast, too slick. The speed of Groves gave Froch nightmares and James is quicker than Groves.Tags: Carl Froch , James DeGale , George Groves , Froch-Groves , Froch vs. Groves