James DeGale has decided to leave promoter Frank Warren, which may have been brewing since Warren signed George Groves (right) last summer. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
European super middleweight champion and former Olympic gold medalist James DeGale has decide to split from promoter Frank Warren, telling The Guardian that he feels it's "time for both of us to move on."
The DeGale-Warren relationship, looking back, has seemed a bit icy ever since Warren signed DeGale's arch-nemesis George Groves in August. Since that time, DeGale has fought just once, and while Warren did get him a crack at the European title with that fight (which he won against Piotr Wilczewski in October), DeGale has bailed on three fights since then, including his scheduled fight with Italy's Cristian Sanavia, which was to air on the March 16 card headlined by Groves' rematch against Kenny Anderson.
With fights falling apart and little action in DeGale's career for the last eight months, since he lost a tight decision to Groves in May, this is sudden but not a major shock.
Where DeGale goes from here is anyone's guess, but you have to expect that Eddie Hearn's Matchroom Boxing will make a play for the talented former Olympian, who turns 26 in a week. Hearn has snapped up the likes of Carl Froch, Darren Barker, Carl Frampton, Kell Brook, Paul McCloskey, Gavin Rees, and Lee Purdy, and DeGale would be a good pickup, too. With Brook and Frampton, DeGale would give Hearn and Matchroom a solid base for the future to balance out the veterans on their roster.
Hennessy Sports could also be a possibility, as they have a deal with Channel 5 in the UK, which has given Tyson Fury terrestrial TV exposure in the country and made him a bigger star, but Hearn would have to be considered the favorite of the other UK promoters out there, if DeGale does stay based in the United Kingdom.