FINALLY James DeGale’s dream is at hand. His IBF super-middleweight title fight with Andre Dirrell has nearly been finalised for the O2 in London on April 25. “They’ve agreed on the phone but they’re waiting to sign contracts now. So it’s basically on,” DeGale told Boxing News. “I’m just looking forward to it now. My chance has come and I’m going to take it. It’s been a very, very long wait. It’s a long time coming.
“It is the hardest way for me to win a world title. You tell me someone better than Dirrell? There isn’t. Apart from [the currently inactive Andre] Ward, there isn’t. This is the hardest way. I wouldn’t want it any other way. He’s got great pedigree. He’s a former Olympic medallist back in 2004, his professional record is nearly perfect, apart from the loss to Froch. He’s good, he’s slippery, he’s a southpaw, he’s fast. He’s a good, good fighter but I’m very, very confident going in there. I think it’s going to be a good fight. A lot of people say our styles are going to clash but I think they’re going to gel. Obviously there’s a lot on the line and I think it’ll be a hell of a fight.
“I’ve watched previous fights of his and when it gets a bit rough in there, I don’t think he likes it. Obviously I’m going to use my boxing brain and my boxing skill but when it gets hard I’m going to have to give it to him. And I don’t think he’s going to like that.”
The two will fight for the IBF strap Carl Froch vacated as the Nottingham man nurses an injured elbow. “I’m a little bit frustrated because I would have liked to have fought such a great champion and beat him. Obviously he decided not to fight me for certain reasons. I’ve always said he’s never wanted to really fight me. A fight like me, that moves, that style, will always give him problems and I don’t think he wanted to fight me,” James said.
A rematch with his great rival, and Froch’s latest victim, George Groves seems some way off. “He had his shot. To be honest I’m not too sure when he’s going to get his chance. He’s not boxing in the next couple of months so it looks like it’s going to be October, November time. So he’s missed his chance,” DeGale said of Groves. “I haven’t got too many words for Groves.
“He’s spoiling it for himself.”
His ambition is to become the first GB Olympic gold medallist to win a professional world title. Then he wants to fight the very best in the division. “Me against Andre Ward, too Olympic gold medallists, unifying world titles, that would be special.,” James said. “I want the big fights, the big names and the belts.
“All I want to do is win my world title and make history. I’m not too sure if Eddie Hearn’s going to boost the [April 25] card up and make it pay-per-view or if it’s going to be on normal Sky. I think it’s a hell of a fight. I let Eddie Hearn do that part of it, my profile and building up the fight. All I do is get in the ring fight and get the results, that’s all I want to do.”