James DeGale reckons he would happily take on Georgie Groves for his middleweight debut in the professional ring - but claims his former Dale Youth Club mate wouldn't fancy a four-round pasting!
Olympic champion DeGale came full circle to promoter Frank Warren this week for a three-year deal worth more than £1.6m after three months of courting by the best of the fight game's wheeler-dealers.
One of whom was David Haye who looks after Hammersmith ABA champion Groves, himself a pro first timer on the under-card of his manager's heavyweight tussle at the O2 Arena a couple of weeks ago.
Degale didn't fancy Haye's overture back in September, which sparked some tasty tabloid name-calling between the two.
But now DeGale is certain that if his expected February debut was against old stablemate Groves from Dale's gym, there would be certain revenge for the infamous ABA area fight that saw the latter controversially outpoint DeGale nearly two years ago.
Although Groves went on to win the ABA title, it was DeGale who quickly recovered to score a fabulous gold in Beijing.
"They're not likely to put me in with Georgie," said DeGale. "But if they did, he would be lucky to last four rounds.
"I've heard all the names I've been called about not being tough enough for the professional ring - but you don't win an Olympic gold unless you have a heap of skills.
"I've got a lot of time for Georgie, although it's been a bit different lately. But it would be more of a bonus to his career if I was to fight him - not that I'm sure he would want it."
DeGale admitted Warren had offered him more money than the likes of legend Oscar De La Hoya, but added the English promoter would also do more for his new career.
He said: "Frank's looked after Joe Calzaghe, Ricky Hatton and Amir Khan.
"I mean, the man's done it at the very top, and in the end, staying in England and building up a fan base was what I really wanted."
**ASHLEY THEOPHANE couldn't make up his mind if the cup was half-empty or half-full this week.
The Paddington fighter was still seething after his proposed bout with Zab Judah at New York's legendary Madison Square Garden went down the tubes.
Theophane reckoned the former world champion was running scared because of the west Londoner's growing reputation Stateside.
In July, Theophane added another former world champ, DeMarcus 'Chop Chop' Corley to his list of victims, and the 28-year-old light welterweight believes word of the performance in Rochester, New York, got around.
Theophane said: "I should be nicknaming him Zab 'No Balls' Judah after he pulled out like that. I think his people thought a comeback fight for him against me was far too risky."
Instead, the man they call 'Treasure' has been signed up for a return to York Hall, Bethnal Green, on Saturday.
He fights Alexandrs Spitko from Mansfield, via Latvia, who's been on the losing side five fights in a row. York Hall was also the scene where Theophane comprehensively dispatched African champion Geoffrey Munika in June.
Theophane's record is 22 wins (seven KO's), three defeats and a single draw. ..SUPL: