The sport’s too hard not to come out of it with a lot of money and be world champion
JAMES DEGALE has never been a shy or retiring type. The frustration of another cancelled fighter earlier this year has passed, the Harlsden southpaw has halted both Sebastien Demers and Stjepan Bozic in recent weeks and now believes he’s well positioned for an assault on one of the world titles.
Carl Froch is the main man at super-middleweight in the UK and DeGale was happy to talk up boxing the Nottingham star, as well as taking some satisfaction from the fact that Bozic did beat Froch in the distant past in the amateurs.
“I’d use my feet a lot, I wouldn't stand there. I’d use my speed, get him late on. That’s been my stronger rounds, the last four or five rounds. He’s getting older,” DeGale said of fighting Froch.
A rematch with his bitter rival George Groves hardly seems imminent, though DeGale’s promoter Mick Hennessy suggested doing it as a final eliminator for the WBC title. “Let’s do it again for an eliminator or a world title. I’d box him in my next fight,” said James.
Adam Booth, Groves’ trainer and adviser, was watching DeGale’s latest fight ringside. “Because they’ve already done it prematurely, it would have to be for a belt,” Booth said. “Good fighters always regroup and good fighters always come back and James is a good fighter.
“I thought he looked big for a super-middleweight, he’s winning and as long as he keeps winning it’s good news.”
Mid September is likely for DeGale’s next outing. Sakio Bika is fighting Marco Antonio Periban for the now (unjustly in Andre Ward’s eyes) vacant WBC belt. Bika’s trainer Kevin Cunningham has already told BN he’d like to come to fight in the UK in future. The Olympic gold medallist would relish that fight.
“[Bika’s] tough, rugged, been around for years, boxed all the good fighters and pushed them as well, so probably Bika [will win],” said DeGale.
He’s still determined to become the first boxer to win an Olympic gold medal for Britain to make it as a professional world champion. “To win that Olympic gold medal was a dream come true. You’re part of that elite group. I wouldn’t swap it for nothing. It’s put a bit more pressure on me,” he said. “I’m in boxing for the big fights, to earn loads of money and to make history.
“The sport’s too hard not to come out of it with a lot of money and be world champion.”
To read the ringside report on James DeGale’s lates fight don’t miss this week’s issue of Boxing News