European super middleweight champion James DeGale says he's excited to move away from Frank Warren and the subscriber channel BoxNation, where his career had begun to flounder as inactivity pushed him out of the public eye. DeGale recently signed a multi-year deal with Hennessy Sports, which means his fights will be aired on Channel 5, a terrestrial TV network in the UK.
"Mick’s last couple of shows have got two million-plus viewers. As an Olympic champion, things can go through the roof. ... I boxed once in a year. You start not to care. Eight weeks in the gym and then you don’t box – and if you don’t box, you don’t get paid. I’ve got to think about my career too. In four years since I won the Olympic title, I’ve had 13 fights. That’s crazy."
DeGale (12-1, 9 KO) will make his debut on the network and with Hennessy on October 13. No opponent has been named, so little should be expected.
There's no doubt that simply getting active again will be a blessing for DeGale, who could and likely should have been a bigger deal right now. He also says that he's moved on from George Groves for the time being, which could go without saying, except that the two are still basically tied to one another whenever they're interviewed. With Groves fighting for Warren, that fight isn't going to happen even if they both wanted the rematch. Groves beat DeGale via very close decision in 2011.
DeGale is also hoping to rebrand himself and appeal to more of the public:
“I want people to see me in a different light. People who know me know I’m genuine, I’m nice."
The fighter says he's matured since the days when he felt compelled to refer to Groves as an "ugly ginger" in several interviews and TV promos.
DeGale has fought just two times since losing to Groves, but to Warren's credit, he did get the fighter an immediate European title shot. "Chunky" defeated Piotr Wilczewski last year for the title, and made an easy defense in April of this year against Cristian Sanavia.