James DeGale v Andre Dirrell date set for May 23 in Boston
Last Updated: 26/03/15 12:34pm
James DeGale's world title fight against Andre Dirrell will take place in Boston on May 23.
The super-middleweight is aiming to make history by becoming the first Briton to win Olympic gold and a professional world title.
Standing between DeGale and the vacant IBF belt is an American known as The Matrix, a man whose sole fight to date at world level ended with a split-decision defeat to Carl Froch in Nottingham back in 2009.
Dirrell will have home advantage after the outcome of purse bids spared him a return trip across the Atlantic, and DeGale knows the size of the challenge ahead.
He told Sky Sports News HQ: "Dirrell's a very, very good opponent - he's only lost the one fight to Froch where a lot of people thought he'd won.
"He's tall, tricky southpaw - a bit like me. A lot of people say our styles will clash, but I think they're going to gel. There's a lot on the line - a world title - we're both hungry, young and ambitous. I think it's going to be a hell of a fight."
Froch vacated the IBF title earlier this year, looking beyond mandatory challenger DeGale towards a Las Vegas superfight, but the possibility of a huge all-British showdown will remain as long as the Londoner returns home in May with the belt.
"You go and ask Carl Froch," was DeGale's response when asked about the chances of that fight happening in the future.
"Please God I go over to America and win my world title, and then I'm willing to fight anyone. I've always said I'm in boxing for the big fights and the big paydays, so I'm ready to fight anyone.
"But first things first, that's going over to America and beating Dirrell in a hard fight - but one I'm confident of winning."