George Groves tells James DeGale to retire after points defeat to Chris Eubank Jr

  • Kat Lucas

The boxing world is once again Chris Eubank Jr’s oyster after his statement win over James DeGale.

For the former Olympic gold medallist, it seems likely his career is over – but for the victor, a rematch with Billy Joe Saunders now awaits. 

Many felt the fight could have been stopped earlier, so DeGale can have few complaints about his points defeat. 

The 33-year-old was up against it from the off, suffering a cut above the eye in the first round and being dropped in the second. 

To his credit, DeGale persevered and there were glimpses of his technical ability on several occasions. 

The former super-middleweight champion got back up again after Eubank floored him in the 10th.

He stayed upright on the back of a hefty upper-cut and in the middle rounds managed to make the scorecard a lot closer than it might otherwise have been. 

Even Eubank’s own father wasn’t 100% convinced he’d win comfortably. This was about silencing the doubters and putting in a claim for a proper title fight. 

It’s a much sadder story for DeGale, who is expected to hang up his gloves. 

George Groves, who has of course beaten both men, weighed in with his view on punditry – and it won’t have been pleasant listening for DeGale.

“I’m going to do my best Naseem Hamed impression – it is retirement time, James,” Groves joked – a play on Hamed’s famous ‘I think he should finish’ quip about Eubank Jr. 

“It really is, all jokes aside. He ain’t got it no more. He wasn’t there at the races tonight,” he added. 

“He’s had a fantastic career and he’s achieved everything he set out to achieve.

“He’s got a lovely house in St. Albans, he’s earned a few quid. 

“Good on him, fair play to him. He now needs to hang up the gloves and I hope he does. 

What does DeGale himself have to say? 

“I’m pretty sure this is it,” he said, per the Independent.

“I know that, if I call it a day, I have left my mark in boxing. So I have to go back and watch this because I did not do enough. I will go back and talk to my team.”

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