James DeGale has been earmarked for stardom ever since he gave up the amateur headgear and vest to join the professional ranks. A gold medal winner at the Beijing Olympics, DeGale had made an impressive start to his new career, securing 10 victories and remarkably the British super middleweight title. So rapid was his rise through the ranks that there was talk of him moving up to the “world” level with a fight against WBA regular super middleweight champion Dmitriy Sartisan this spring. Instead, DeGale and his promoter Frank Warren chose to use a blockbuster rivalry with an old teammate to launch his career to new heights. Commonwealth champion George Groves had trained with DeGale at the same London amateur gym, and while it was DeGale who would excel in the unpaid ranks it was Groves who emerged victorious the only time they met in the ring as amateurs. Billed as “The Grudge,” Saturday’s fight between DeGale and Groves was the most eagerly anticipated British title contest for some time, with the fight even being broadcast live in America by Epix. A large part of that interest was based on the idea that the heavy favorite DeGale would make a… Read full this story
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