By Kevin Francis, courtesy of The Daily Star
JAMES DeGALE is aiming to KO his ‘forgotten man’ tag in style by becoming the best super-middleweight in the world.
DeGale meets Colombian Fulgencio Zuniga for the vacant WBC silver belt at Hull on Saturday night and is determined to end the year on a high.
The Channel 5 bout gives the 26-year-old Londoner a chance to showcase his talents on terrestrial TV and move a step nearer the world title mix.
And he is convinced that he can show viewers that he has the talent to emulate fellow Brits Joe Calzaghe and Carl Froch by becoming the best in his division.
The European champion said: “Joe has retired now and Carl maybe has just three or more fights left in him.
“Also, with the retirement of Ricky Hatton, we are looking for a big name with character who can go to the top and I feel I am the one to do it.
“Now I want to be busy and move right up there into the world title reckoning.”
DeGale shot to worldwide fame by winning gold at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and made his professional debut the following year.
He won 10 pro fights on the bounce before controversially losing on points to bitter rival George Groves in May last year.
That knocked him back in the pecking order but he bounced back to win the European crown by defeating Piotr Wilczewski.
He followed that victory up with two successful defences against Cristian Sanavia in April and Hadillah Mohoumadi in October.
Now he is buzzing ahead of what he hopes will be an impressive New Year, beginning with a further European defence against Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye next month.
He said: “My plan was to box for a world title this year but that hasn’t happened – so it’s knocked my plans back by six to 12 months.
“I believe that by next year I’ll be on the verge of boxing for a world title.”
THE DeGale-Zuniga fight will be screened live on Channel 5 from 10pm this Saturday.
Tickets available from 0844 888 4402.