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DeGale hopes to settle the score with Groves

James DeGale wants to avenge his sole professional defeat against George Groves.

George Groves, James DeGale and Billy Joe Saunders Press Conference Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images
Wil Esco is an assistant editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2014.

James DeGale (23-1-1, 14 KOs) is hoping to finally put a longstanding rivalry with countryman George Groves to bed as he seeks vindication from his only professional loss.

DeGale and Groves have a history that spans back to when the two were both young amateur fighters and members of the west London boxing club Dale Youth. Groves would beat DeGale on his way to winning an English ABA title as an amateur and then beat DeGale again in 2011 as they were young pros. That one loss still weighs on DeGale...

"I'd like to fight George Groves again," DeGale said at a Boxing Writers' Club lunch convened to celebrate his success as the first British Olympic gold medallist to win a world boxing title.

"Of course I'd like to put that right because we grew up together in the same amateur club, but the cream always rises to the top and now people are seeing who is the genuine world-class fighter of the two of us.”

DeGale, though, still seems like he’s willing to consider his options despite his hopes to gain redemption from his only loss.

"The Groves fight is always there, although my winning the world title, while he has failed three times to do that, kills him.”

DeGale is most recently coming off a disputed title unification draw against Badou Jack where he was dropped in the final round and had one of his front teeth knocked out. But Jack would immediately state his intention of moving up to light heavyweight following the decision which scuttled any potential rematch for the time being.

Groves, meanwhile, has won four straight fights since dropping a split decision to Badou Jack in September 2015. Both Groves and DeGale should probably be on a collision course if they aren’t already, but who would you most like to see them take on next if not each other?

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