September 20, 2017
September 20, 2017
James DeGale

Action Images/Andrew Couldridge

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JAMES DEGALE wants to return to the ring in December after recovering from the shoulder injury that forced him to miss out on the World Boxing Super Series.

The super-middleweight edition of the eight-fighter competition began on Saturday when Callum Smith defeated Erik Skoglund, and DeGale’s rivals George Groves and Chris Eubank Jnr will also have their quarter-finals in the coming month.

IBF champion DeGale remains widely thought of as the world’s leading super-middleweight but, since drawing with Badou Jack in January, has undergone surgery on a torn rotator cuff on his right shoulder and also struggled with a nose injury.

“Hopefully by the end of September I’ll be able to punch, by October I’ll be able to spar again, so I’ll be back (in) December,” the 31-year-old told Press Association Sport.

“It was serious surgery. I’m just pleased that I can see the light at the end of the tunnel because (my shoulder) is getting better, it’s feeling looser, I can do a lot more stuff with it.

“It’s been a long road. It’s horrible. More painful than any fight I’ve ever had. The (Rogelio) Medina fight and Badou Jack fight, I was boxing handicapped: 100 per cent I’d have beaten Jack without it.

“My nose as well: I had a deviated septum, where the cartilage has come over and I couldn’t breathe through my nose.

“I got a call (for the WBSS) but I needed my operation. I couldn’t go in that competition like that, fighting handicapped.

“It’s a good tournament, there’s a lot of good fighters in it, and I am a bit disappointed, but hopefully I’ll get the winner.”

DeGale considers Smith and WBA champion Groves the competition favourites, and remains interested in what would be a highly sought-after rematch with the latter.


“Groves has been saying that after this tournament, if he comes through, he can retire,” he said. “I think that’s false. It’s a big-money fight and he doesn’t like me. That fight’s always going to be there.

“I want the winner, and I think the winner’s Groves or Smith. I want to box three times next year.

“There’s a possibility of me going up (to light-heavyweight) just to fight (Jack), ’cause I know he ain’t in my class.

“I’ll get back to prove I’m still the best super-middleweight in the country, and move forward.”