IBF super middleweight champion James DeGale is in one of the most exciting and talent-rich divisions in the sport. The weight class currently has two of its champions in the World boxing super series with IBO champion Chris Eubank Jr and WBA belt holder George Groves now set to face off against each other. The winner of that series will likely be a prime target for DeGale after he returns to the ring in December for a tune-up fight.
In part 2 of my “On The Ropes” boxing radio interview with James DeGale I discuss with him the possibility of rematch bouts with Badou Jack and George Groves. DeGale also talks about the boxing landscape, sharing his views on the recent Canelo vs. Golovkin bout and breaking down a potential Joshua-Wilder match up. Additionally, James talks about his future and what fans can expect once he gets back into the ring. Here is what James DeGale had to say.
Jenna J: Who do you feel you have more unfinished business with, George Groves or Badou Jack?
James DeGale: Honestly, Groves. The history goes back, we boxed in the amateurs and he beat me on a split decision in the pros. That history goes back, we don’t like each other. I’d like to fight him and get my revenge and beat him, but I’m willing to wait for that one.
Badou Jack, that’s the fight that I really want because I don’t think Badou Jack is in my class at all. I know he’s a good world class fighter, but I just think styles make fights, and I don’t think on my game when I’m fully fit, I don’t think he beats me. It’s frustrating that I made him look so good, I made him look like a world beater. It was a bit of a controversial end to the fight but a lot of people thought I won and a lot thought he won. So, I see no reason why we shouldn’t get in the ring again.
Jenna J: Would you go up to 175lbs to face Badou Jack?
James DeGale: If that fight happens, I’d probably have to go up in weight because I think he struggles to make 168lbs and I don’t think he’s coming back down, so I’d have to come up. There’s a lot of fights out there for me, obviously Great Britain has a lot of domestic fight, big fights, huge fights. There’s George Groves, Eubank Jr, Kevin Smith.
I want to be boxing back at home because that’s where the money is made. On the world scene, there’s some great fights, Benavidez just won a WBC world title, there’s Gilberto Ramirez. Those are the kinds of fights I want to be in.
Jenna J: In terms of the world boxing super series, who do you think is going to come out on top of that?
James DeGale: It’s a good concept, three fights in nine months, so the winner will be busy. I think whoever comes out on top is getting paid a lot of money. I think it’s a good contest. I think George Groves or Kevin Smith are going to be eventual winners. If I had to pick one of them, I’d have to pick Kevin Smith, but he didn’t look so impressive in his last fight. I’m just waiting to see Eubank and Groves, I think they’re the favorites.
Jenna J: We recently had a fight between Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin. What did you think of that fight?
James DeGale: It was a fantastic fight, a very entertaining fight. A lot of people are screaming that it was a robbery, I didn’t see it like that. I thought it was a close fight, Golovkin probably just nicked it, there wasn’t much in it. Some of Canelo’s work was lovely, some of his shots were the more eye catching shots. I think he was making Golovkin miss a lot, but it was one of those fights were it depends what you like.
I like Canelo’s work but you can’t moan with the decision. Golovkin brought it, he pressured him constantly for twelve rounds, he threw a lot more punches, but it was a close fight. I’m hearing they’re going to do it again next year, so I look forward to the rematch.
Jenna J: Based on what you saw in the first fight, who do you think would win the rematch?
James DeGale: Golovkin is a powerhouse, he’s non stop and he has a fantastic chin. Golovkin is probably technically not the best, but his pressure, chin and fitness gets him through and makes him a special fighter. It’s a really hard fight, but I’m going to go for Golovkin but it wouldn’t surprise me if Canelo nicked it.
Jenna J: A lot of fans want to see a heavyweight fight between Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder. If that fight were to happen, how do you think it would play out?
James DeGale: That’s probably the most exciting heavyweight fight out there. Two big athletic heavyweights that can punch, both are in fantastic shape. Obviously I’m gonna side with the Brit. In his last fight with Klitschko he showed he was more than an Olympic gold medalist. He showed that he’s got chin, he’s got heart, he’s willing to dig deep. Wilder on the other hand, he has a good pedigree, he went to the Olympic games, and he’s a knockout artist. Wilder has serious power but I’m going to edge towards Joshua. I think it’s one of them that whoever lands first is going to win.
Jenna J: James back to yourself, what can fans expect from you once you return to the ring?
James DeGale: A full fit, injury free, super sharp, super fast, super power, they are going to expect a wicked performance. I think in my next fight you are going to see that.