DeGale vs Jack: James DeGale says he will become the best in the world in 2017
By Tim Hobbs
Last Updated: 04/01/17 1:38pm
James DeGale has warned the rest of the super-middleweight division that 2017 will belong to him.
The IBF world champion starts the year taking on WBC holder Badou Jack in New York, on January 14, live on Sky Sports.
DeGale admits he is facing the toughest test of his career, but with fellow Brit Callum Smith waiting to take on the winner and George Groves lining up a shot for the vacant WBA 'Super', the Londoner believes he will establish himself as the best in the world over the next 12 months.
"I am fully focused on Badou Jack but 2017 is going to be a massive year for me," he told Sky Sports.
"This should be the perfect year for me; me against Badou Jack, then Callum Smith and then Groves. Imagine that.
"This is going to be my year. You will see me unify the division out in America and then you will see my homecoming."
DeGale's Brooklyn showdown with Jack will be his fourth consecutive fight away from home but he is looking forward to bringing both the IBF and WBC belts back to Britain.
The 29-year-old is finishing off his training camp in Miami before heading up to New York in fight week.
'Chunky' is out to make history by becoming Britain's first super-middleweight to unify world titles out in America and is looking forward to setting the tone for a year that he says will put him and the 168lbs decision firmly back on the map.
"I am going to have to fight Callum first because he's the mandatory for the WBC but I am hoping Groves wins the WBA so we can get that on at the end of the year," said DeGale.
"But this division is bubbling up nicely, 100 per cent, this is. The unification fight with me and Jack, and there are some young fighters coming through that are looking good - like Callum Smith.
"We've got Gilberto Ramirez, a really good Mexican, so it is looking good what's coming up. But I will show everyone I am the best out there, 100 per cent."
Watch James DeGale v Badou Jack, live on Sky Sports, in the early hours of Sunday, January 15.