Fighting talk: Rematch with rival Groves is logical step for DeGale!

George Groves (right) on his way to defeating James DeGale
George Groves (right) on his way to defeating James DeGale

Luke Blackledge feels a rematch against George Groves would be the logical step for newly-crowned IBF World super-middleweight champion James DeGale.

The 29-year-old Hammersmith hitter arrived back on home soil on Tuesday having won a points decision over Andre Dirrell in Boston at the weekend.

Judge Alan Davis had scored the contest by the widest margin in the Brit’s favour, assessing the damage as 117-109 after the American had twice been floored in the second round, while Daniel Fitzgerald and Howard John Foster went with 114-112.

“He looked sharp and strong for half of the fight but then he seemed to slow down and allow Dirrell back in to it,” Blackledge said. “But he did really well and he’s world champion so that’s all that matters. He went over to America and won it so fair play to him.

“It was a close fight but he deserved it, he did great, and that win opens up the door to other big match-ups now.”

Groves inflicted DeGale’s sole defeat four years ago at the O2 Arena as his former stablemate swiped his prized Lonsdale Belt to usurp him as British champion while being crowned king of the Commonwealth in the process.

He went over to America and won it so fair play to him

Luke Blackledge

Groves is set to jet across to the States himself to challenge Badou Jack’s WBC title and victory there could reignite a feud that has simmered since the former gym-mates’ amateur days.

The one-time Olympic Gold medallist had told Sky Sports News: “There’s a massive fight with George Groves down the line. Obviously I’d like to fight (Groves) again and get the win over him.

“Our rivalry goes back, it’s not a made-up rivalry. It’s serious - we don’t like each other, so I think it’s natural fight to be made and I look forward to it.”