London's James DeGale MBE, 18-1 (12), has formally announced his move to Matchroom Sport. The 28-year-old will meet the undefeated 29-year-old American Brandon Gonzales, 18-0-1 (10), on the Carl Froch versus George Groves IBF and WBA Super middleweight title bill at Wembley Stadium on May 31st. It means that DeGale should fight the winner of Froch-Groves if he gets past Gonzales.
"I'm back," said DeGale when announcing the move from Mick Hennessy to Eddie Hearn live on Sky Sports this afternoon. "The last year or so has been very frustrating for me—if I'm brutally honest I've been depressed. That's the past, I'm looking forward to the future—it's looking extremely bright and should be exciting.
"The fights out there for me are crazy, but I can't look past Brandon Gonzales. He's a good fighter, I've seen a couple of clips of him, he can box inside and on the back-foot, so I can't overlook this guy. After I've dealt with him, the massive fights are there—that's what I need to motivate me. In the short space of time since we've announced this, I've felt a new lease of life.
"The winner of Froch-Groves makes me excited. Who do I want to win? I'm not fussed. Froch is easier for me, I've said that for ages, but me and George is personal [Writer's note: Groves defeated DeGale by majority decision in 2011]. want them to do their stuff, but I've got to concentrate on Brandon Gonzales. In seven weeks time, I'll be a beast. I run past Wembley Stadium everyday, so I'm just looking forward to it. Prepare yourself for an exciting ride coming up."
The 2008 Olympic Gold Medalist said that he is well into training for the IBF eliminator. His last fight was an 11th-round TKO win over Gevorg Khatchikian, which earned him a mandatory shot at WBC boss Sakio Bika, but "Chunky" has instead opted for the IBF route and the chance for a domestic showdown with the winner of Froch-Groves.
"We’re delighted to welcome James to the Matchroom Boxing team," added Hearn. "There was a huge amount of interest from a number of promoters to add him to their roster, so I am delighted to win that race. "The timing of the fight against Brandon Gonzales couldn’t be better with the winner set to face the winner of Froch vs. Groves 2. The 168 pound division is buzzing and this just adds a new dimension to the potential of mega-fights for British boxing."
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