JAMES DEGALE has point to prove when he boxes Badou Jack at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn on January 14. He wants to unify the IBF and WBC super-middleweight titles and he wants something more precious still. Appreciation.

“I don’t get the respect. I made a bit of history. If I unify the division, going across the pond, no one’s ever done that from Britain,” he said. “This is the one. I get love and support, I do have my fans, but it just feels like I look around at different fighters who haven’t done half what I’ve done and they get so much more recognition.

“I don’t get the credit: the full recognition, I don’t. But after this fight, people will start respecting me and knowing I’m the best.”

He is expecting a hard fight. “This is the best fighting the best and this fight will prove who’s the best in the division — and I believe I am the number one super middleweight on the planet,” he said. “Unification fights like this are still rare, never mind the best fighting the best, and me and Jack both wanted the fight.  We both want to prove who is the best and everyone is in for a treat on January 14.

“I’ve got the best trainer in the world in Jim McDonnell; together we won the world title and now we’re going to unify the title. I’m going to win in style and do the business in the big New York City and come away with both belts to bring back to London.”

“Jack’s a serious fighter, he’s a world champion, he has something I want. The winner of this will be the number in the division,” he concluded.

“I’ve got to perform. My last couple of performances haven’t been vintage James DeGale. This is the best fighting the best, the champ fighting the champ: this is proper.”