James DeGale signs with Matchroom, fight with Brandon Gonzales set for Froch-Groves bill

Jordan Mansfield

James DeGale will be in the ring on May 31 at Wembley Stadium, facing Brandon Gonzales in an IBF eliminator, after signing with Eddie Hearn's Matchroom Boxing.

Super middleweight contender James DeGale is now on the third promoter of his five-year pro career, as he's signed a deal with Eddie Hearn's Matchroom Boxing after leaving Hennessy Sports last week, the promoter he had joined after defecting from Frank Warren's camp.

DeGale also has his next fight set, as he will face Brandon Gonzales in an IBF title eliminator on May 31, part of the huge Froch-Groves II card at Wembley Stadium. To say this is a step up in exposure and relevance compared to his run with Hennessy would be a pretty huge understatement.

DeGale (18-1, 12 KO) and his team reportedly believed that the fighter's motivation was lacking, as he continued to fight substandard opponents on Hennessy's Channel 5 shows, playing to small live audiences in mid-level venues. His career simply was not progressing, as the UK boxing scene now mirrors the US market.

Here we have Golden Boy and Top Rank, and across the pond there is now Matchroom and Frank Warren. The "other" US promoters, like DiBella Entertainment, Goossen Tutor, Main Events, and others are pretty marginalized now, and the same has gone for UK promoters like Hennessy Sports and the once-promising Hatton Promotions, along with veteran Frank Maloney, who retired from the sport.

A win over Gonzales (18-0-1, 10 KO) would put DeGale in line to face the Froch-Groves rematch winner. He says he won't look past Gonzales, and that he feels Froch is the easier matchup for him:

"The fights out there for me are crazy. But I can't look past Brandon. He trains with Andre Ward and Amir Khan so he's got great training and he's a good fighter.

"I'm not fussed who wins out of Carl and George. I think Carl is an easier fight as he is made for me, but with George and I it is personal - I get angry talking about him."

The 28-year-old DeGale's only pro loss came in a narrow defeat to Groves in 2011.

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