James DeGale says WBA and IBF champion Carl Froch is past his best

Last Updated: 08/05/14 3:32pm

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James DeGale believes IBF and WBA super-middleweight champion Carl Froch has already seen his best days as a fighter.

Froch will renew his rivalry with arch-nemesis George Groves when the pair face each other in a rematch on May 31 following last year's controversial stoppage win for the Nottingham man.

And DeGale, who fights the undefeated Gevorg Khatchikan on March 1 ahead of a WBC title eliminator against Badou Jack later this year, believes Froch is now past his prime.

"I think he's had some hard fights, some tough fights," DeGale told Sky Sports News. "He's been around for a while now and I think probably his best days are behind him, so maybe Groves has got him at the right time.

"Do I think Groves deserved the rematch? Probably - the way it ended, yes, but did he deserve the fight in the first place? Probably not."

Many observers believe referee Howard Foster brought the first clash between Froch and Groves to a premature halt in the ninth-round when the pair fought last November.

DeGale, whose only defeat in the professional ranks came against fellow west Londoner Groves in 2011, believes Froch would have won that contest regardless but is unsure who will emerge from the rematch victorious.

"I think Carl Froch would probably have gone on to stop him late on but who knows," DeGale said. "It's all ifs and buts but the second fight is going to be interesting and I'll be watching it very closely.

"I'm not too sure who I going to win the rematch - it's a 50-50 one. If you're going by the last fight a lot of people will be going for Groves.

"I'm not too sure if Froch took him too lightly last time. I'm not too sure (who will win). Nearer the time if you ask me I will tell you who is going to win."

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