DeGale still cannot believe he lost to Groves, staying with McDonnell, will still be world champion in 2012
By Simon Hirst: James DeGale is still recovering from his shocking loss at the hands of arch enemy ‘Saint’ George Groves. Three weeks after his loss and having watched the fight back, his opinion has not changed. He does say it is still raw, but time is a healer and his plan to win a world title in 2012 is still on.
DeGale had also heard the people who suggest he change trainer, but dismissed them and has vowed to stay with McDonnell. He is the original transcript of this section.
After a defeat a boxer’s instinct is that something went wrong, so something has to change – usually the trainer. Did you go through that?
DeGALE: Not at all. Why am I going to change my trainer? If I didn’t have Jim I wouldn’t have been in the situation to start with. Look at the transformation I’ve made from my first fight to this fight; it’s gone onwards and upwards, I’ve just got better and better. But yeah, a lot of people were calling on me to change my trainer and I had also had lot of calls from other trainers. But no, I’m not changing anything. Maybe there could’ve been a tiny bit more urgency in the corner, a tiny bit… but then Jim did that in the sixth. Apart from that, training went great, he’s a fantastic conditioner and technique-wise he’s unbelievable – people don’t realize how good he is. Why would I change something that’s not broken? Who else is there better than Jim McDonnell? No-one.
From a personal point of view, a lot will depend on DeGale’s next couple of fights. A loss of this stature will mean his next couple of performances will be under enormous scrutiny. Any sort of mistakes, technical issues or poor performances will just increase the evidence that McDonnell is not the man to guide DeGale to a world title.
I think technically DeGale was better than Groves; he has the basics of a good boxer, but he does has many flaws. He is too predictable as Groves and Booth revealed their master plan on an episode of ‘Ringside’.
He also claimed he had Groves hurt in rounds nine and eleven, which highlighted another flaw. A lack of killer instinct. If DeGale suspected it may be close, he should have jumped on Groves when he felt he was there to be taken. He also claimed that as soon as he settled his feet, Groves was gone. Sometimes in boxing, you have to adapt and if DeGale was finding difficulties in getting to Groves, then he needed to either plant his feet quicker, or cut the ring off better. The admission of Groves unsettling DeGale through the fight is part of why Groves made DeGale look average.
DeGale also stated there is no-one left domestically for him to fight, which leaves him in the position of being the number two in his country. He also stated that when he wins his world title, he will not be defending it against Groves. This is a bit of a contradiction as if the shoe was on the other foot and Groves had the title, he would ask for a shot. Also, he wanted a rematch, so if he was so desperate to fight Groves again, he would snatch at any opportunity to do this.
As a boxing fan, I struggle to see DeGale in a fight with the elite fighters in 2012/2013. I just can’t see him being competitive with fighters such as Bute, Dirrell, Kessler, Ward and Froch. It will depend a lot on how he recovers and I hope he proves me wrong, but at the moment, I can’t see either of them at world class level.
I am of the belief that DeGale needs to change trainer. He needs a trainer, not a friend who won’t challenge his way of thinking. Technically, he is a good boxer who has potential, but he should go over to America, get some good sparring, look at trainers such as Emmanuel Steward or even one of the Mayweathers, preferably Uncle Roger. But at the moment, he is staying with McDonnell, who according to him is better than the ones I’ve mentioned.
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