By Kevin Francis, courtesy of The Daily Star
James DeGale believes that Carl Froch and George Groves are scared of him. DeGale defends his WBC silver title against American Dyah Davis at Bluewater in Kent tonight.
The contest comes just a week before Carl Froch puts his IBF and WBA belts on the line against George Groves in Manchester.
And, while DeGale would love to meet either of those two fighters, who occupy the places above him in the domestic rankings, he believes the feeling isn't mutual.
Hopes The 27-year-old 2008 Olympic gold medallist is ready to move right into the world title mix.
He said: "Next year is going to be a really big one for me."
But he believes that any hopes of a clash with either Froch or Groves in the near future may be scotched by their determination to avoid him.
He said: "I would fight either Carl or George tomorrow if I had the chance. I would not be worried in the least about either of them. But I am not too sure if I am on their radar. Would the winner of that fight really want to fight me in a voluntary defense? It would be too risky. Why would they want to box me and put themselves in danger? After all, I would pose a really serious threat. But there is more than one world champion out there and I don't need to fight them."
DeGale, whose only defeat in his 18-fight career was at the hands of Groves in 2011, has been putting in overtime in the gym in recent months. He said: "I haven't been out of the gym since I defeated Stjepan Bozic in June and that just about sums up the kind of determination I have.
"All I want to do is look forward to 2014 which is going to be my year because I have done all of my donkey work and all of my learning." He will face a stiff test tonight against 32-year-old American Davis who has lost just three of his 26 contests.
Experience He lost in the final round to current WBC world champ Sakio Bika last year and DeGale said: "I won't underestimate him at all.
"He has plenty of experience and will provide me with the kind of test I am looking for."
THE DeGale-Davis fight will be screened live on Channel 5 tonight from 10pm.
PREDICTION: Davis will be tough, but I'm taking DeGale to wear him down and win around the sixth.