By Terence Dooley
London's 2008 Olympic Gold Medalist James "Chunky" DeGale meets Oregon's "Flawless" Brandon Gonzales, 18-0-1 (10), at Wembley Stadium on Saturday night knowing that a perfect performance on the undercard of Carl Froch's WBA and IBF Super middleweight title rematch with George Groves could lead to a world title shot.
DeGale, 18-1 (12), is taking part in a final eliminator for the IBF belt, he knows that he is one win away from a major domestic showdown for the world title that he has always believed he was destined to achieve.
"Listen, this is humongous," said the 28-year-old when speaking to Sky Sports News. "Boxing at such an iconic venue in front of 80,000 people is going to be something. I win this fight and I'm mandatory challenger for Froch and Groves, but I'm up again a tough, talented fighter in Gonzales, who is trained by a good trainer in Virgil Hunter. Training camp's gone great, I'm on point and, as [the show's promoter] Eddie Hearn said, I've got my mojo back and am up for it."
DeGale moved from Mick Hennessy's stable to Hearn's camp last month. The southpaw has claimed that the move has re-energised him, the IBF eliminator has also put a spring in his step. With the world title in touching distance, DeGale intends to steal a march on fellow contenders while stealing the show from Froch and Groves come Saturday night.
"I was there (world title level), I just needed the right person to get me there and push me there," said DeGale. " I just can't wait for Saturday night—if you've all got tickets then fasten your seatbelts. Super middle is probably the best division out there at the minute, so this is a good chance for me to steal the show, and maybe get a bit more credit."
DeGale dropped a razor tight decision to Groves in May 2011, losing his '0' and British title belt in the process. The build-up to DeGale-Groves was bitterly waged—even more so than Froch and Groves's pre-fight war of words—and the loss was a bitter blow for DeGale, who has hankered after a rematch ever since.
"There's unfinished business everywhere in the bill. People know about the history between me and Groves, but I'm concentrating on Gonzales," stated DeGale. "I'm looking forward to boxing, doing the business, then quickly showering so I can watch the fight live. It's a grudge match, man, and we love a grudge match."
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