James DeGale says he will beat Andre Dirrell in America and become a world champion
Last Updated: 11/03/15 2:23pm
James DeGale says he is very confident he will defeat Andre Dirrell and become world champion this spring, despite having to fight in the States.
The duo are to square off for the vacant IBF super-middleweight belt and Dirrell’s team won the purse bid for the fight on Tuesday, with DeGale’s promoter Eddie Hearn missing out.
However, the 29-year-old DeGale says he has proved throughout his career that he can win on hostile terrain.
"It went to purse bids, that means any promotional company can bid for it," he told Sky Sports. "Eddie Hearn sadly lost the bid, so it looks like I am going to have to go to America now to fight for a world title.
"I'm a little bit disappointed, but more for the British fans, because they are not going to see me win a world title live.
"But it is all part of it, I have done it before. Remember, I went to the Olympic Games back in 2008 (in Beijing) and I won a gold medal when I was an 80-1 underdog.
"I have been all around the world as an amateur, boxing abroad, and I have brought back titles and results. I am confident of doing it again. My last two performances have been spot-on."
It is going to be a difficult fight but it is a fight I am confident of winning. A lot of people say our styles are going to clash but I think they are going to gel.
No definite date has been set for the bout, although April 24 in Chicago has been mentioned, and DeGale says he will be ready.
"It is hard graft in the gym," he said. "Everyone knows that I am trained by a taskmaster in Jim McDonnell.
"He is very good and he is working me extremely hard so, by the time I go over there, I will be extremely fit and ready to do the business."
However, DeGale did acknowledge the 31-year-old Dirrell will pose him some problems. Asked for his verdict on Dirrell, he said: "He's tricky. A good, tall, southpaw.
"He knows how to fight and is a former Olympic medallist. His professional record is nearly perfect, the only loss he has got is to Carl Froch. He is a good technical fighter.
"It is going to be a difficult fight but it is a fight I am confident of winning. A lot of people say our styles are going to clash but I think they are going to gel.
"There is a lot on the line. We are both young, both hungry, so that makes for a good fight. Hopefully, it will be live on Sky Sports and the British public will get to see their very own Olympic champion become the first gold medallist from here to win a world title."
And, asked for his message to Dirrell, he said: "Prepare yourself because I am coming for you. I am coming for the world title. It is my destiny to become world champion and I can’t let this chance pass."