By Kevin Francis, courtesy of The Daily Star
JAMES DEGALE has Carl Froch firmly in his sights after taking a major step towards a world title tilt on Saturday.
The Londoner retained his WBC silver super-middleweight belt by defeating Croatian Stjepan Bozic at Bluewater, Kent.
DeGale, the 2008 Olympic middleweight gold medallist, dominated the contest, with Bozic’s corner throwing in the towel before the start of the fifth round.
DeGale, 27, is hungry for a domestic showdown with WBA and IBF champion Froch.
He said: “I’m in boxing for the big fight, I love the big shows. And Carl Froch is a fantastic fighter.
“But everyone is making him out to be like ‘The Terminator’, who can’t be beaten. But he has lost before and I think I’m all wrong for him.”
But a fight with Froch is unlikely to happen soon as the Nottingham boxer wants to face Denmark’s Mikkel Kessler or American Andre Ward next.
DeGale’s victory, though, has raised the prospect of a rematch with George Groves in what would be a bout between two fighters who have little time for each other.
Another option could be to fight the winner of the clash between the Australian Sakio Bika and Mexican Marco Antonio Periban, who fight for the vacant WBC world title later this month.
DeGale has now won 16 of his 17 professional fights, with his only defeat coming in the points loss to bitter British rival Groves two years ago.
DeGale has six straight wins since that reversal and was never in any trouble against 38-year-old Bozic.
DeGale was on top from the opening bell in a contest which was stopped temporarily after Bozic received low blows in the third and fourth rounds.
Although Bozic did not appear to be hurt at the end of the fourth, his corner decided to call a halt to the bout.
DeGale added: “He could not take it any more. It was not a vintage performance, but it was nice and I’m pleased.”
On the undercard, heavyweight prospect Hughie Fury – cousin of Tyson Fury – made it five straight professional wins by overcoming Ladislav Kovarik.
His first-round victory showed again that the 18-year-old has bags of promise.
Hughie, who spars with his cousin, said: “I want to keep as busy as possible and if that means fighting twice a month, I will be delighted.
“The more experience you gain in the ring, the better it is. I want to pick up as much knowledge as I can.
“Working in the gym and sparring with Tyson is helping me enormously.”