British super-middleweight George Groves has rejected any attempts for him to face old foe James DeGale on April 25 at the O2 Arena and wants to delay any rematch with the Londoner until later in the year.
Groves, who is mandatory challenger with the WBC, hopes both he and DeGale will once again share the ring on the back of their close fight in 2011 but is willing to hedge his bets in the hope of making the contest even bigger.
“DeGale’s now gone down the IBF route and has got to fight Andre Dirrell, the other ranked up there by the sanctioning body, but he is a Londoner, an Olympic champion, I wish him luck,” Groves told Sky Sports.
“This is a big fight. If James is clever enough and thinks to himself ‘I can’t beat Groves, it’s my chance to win a few quid’ why cash out in April? Let’s do it in the summer and make some real money.
Groves continued: “Will we ever sell out Wembley again? I’m not sure but when they put on big shows at Upton Park, Lofus Road, these are historic events and boxing events fans can go to. They remember it, they want to be part of it and I am no different.
“I want to box at Stamford Bridge, so if James wants to fight me, why not do it at Stamford Bridge in the summer.
“People are telling me ‘you’re going to fight James DeGale and he’s going to make history,’ so why, all of a sudden, do we have to regress and go back in time? Four years ago, when I beat him for the British title? At the O2? I would prefer it to be far bigger, far greater and grander – and put my name in history a little bit.
“And I’d like to get a win at a football stadium under my belt!”
DeGale’s promoter Eddie Hearn is currently trying to bring Dirrell over to the UK to fill the current void in the opposite corner for the spring, although at this point in time the American seems reluctant to accept his advances.
‘Chunky’ may be forced to look further down the IBF pecking order in his bid to complete the formalities on his first world title fight – with undefeated Mexican force Gilberto Ramirez the next contender in line.