James DeGale has some big plans for 2018.

James DeGale reckons he'll be banned from entering Groves/Eubank Jnr fight

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Football News

The rivalry between British super middleweight fighters James DeGale and George Groves stretches all the way back to their amateur days, and certainly does not show any signs of easing.

The IBF super middleweight champion DeGale (23-1-1) is preparing to fight American Caleb Truax (28-3-2) at the Copper Box Arena in London on Saturday night, but Groves is never far from his mind.

The Express reported DeGale as saying that he has virtually been banned from Groves' next fight against Chris Eubank Jr. (26-1) in Manchester next February.

DeGale, 31, said: "I was getting paid to go up there and do a Q & A and I said ‘yes, of course I’ll do it.

"The next day they rang me asked me not to do it.

"At the time, I told my mum they wouldn’t let me go up there on their night and the next day they rang and said no.”

Groves (27-3) who is the current WBA super middleweight champion got the better of DeGale early in their career, winning their fight in the amateurs by majority decision and achieved the the same result in the professional ranks.

It has prompted Groves to call himself the best fighter in the division, but it is a claim that DeGale has laughed off.

"I don’t care who wins, but I’m hoping Groves comes through (against Eubank Jr.) it because I’d like to fight him again and the history goes back and I think it would be a fantastic fight.

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"How can he justify [saying he’s No1]? [His win over me] don’t matter. That was six years ago!”

First things first, though, and DeGale is hoping that a win over Traux sets him up for a unification fight against Mexican David Benavidez.

The 21-year-old Benavidez, who is the current WBC super middleweight champion, has an imposing 19-0 record, 17 wins coming via knockout.

If DeGale gets over that big hurdle, he is hoping to take on Groves by the end of 2018.

The British boxing public have been treated to some outstanding bouts over the past 12 months, and by the sounds of things, that looks set to continue.

James de Gale

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