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James DeGale looking forward to walking away from the sport on retirement

Anthony Cocks

Australian-based boxing journalist Anthony Cocks has been covering the sport for over 15 years for various print and online publications. He refuses to believe that Roberto Duran ever lost to Tommy Hearns and says that Jeff Fenech would destroy Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali on the same night.

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Former two-time super middleweight champion James DeGale 25-2-1 (15) is planning on turning his back on the sport after his planned retirement later this year.

The 32-year-old southpaw, who is deep in training for his big domestic clash with Chris Eubank Jr 27-2 (21) at London’s O2 Arena on February 23, expects to have two fights in 2019 before hanging up the gloves.

“It’s getting to that stage that I’m fed up with getting punched in the head,” DeGale said to The Mirror.

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“People don’t understand the hard work and sacrifices you make. The dedication, the running, the early mornings, the preparation, everything. It’s draining.

“I don’t want anyone to think the hunger isn’t there. It is. But I can see the finishing line, and I’m not going to be one of those fighters who hangs around in boxing.

“After boxing, I want people to forget me. I just want to earn my money and be forgotten about — no I’m A Celebrity jungle.

“I could have been so much bigger than I am, profile-wise, but I’m not like that. What I want to be known for is my skills.”

DeGale won the vacant IBF 168-pound belt against Andre Dirrell in 2015 and lost it to Caleb Truax two years later before reclaiming the crown in the rematch in April last year. In July he relinquished the world championship in favour of chasing big-name fights to close out his career.

One fight that DeGale is keen on to close out his career is a rematch with George Groves 28-4 (20) who is coming off a KO7 loss to Callum Smith in the World Boxing Super Series final in September.

Former WBA super middleweight champion Groves, 30, holds a majority decision victory over DeGale in 2011.

“This year is my year, and I’m pretty sure I will fight George Groves,” said DeGale.

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