DeGale Battered Sparring Partners, Eyes World Title

By Kevin Francis, courtesy of The Daily Star

James DEGALE is convinced he is ready for a world title shot as even his sparring partners are running scared.

DeGale defends his WBC silver super-middleweight belt against Gevorg Khatchikian in Bristol tomorrow night.

And he believes the fact that a string of fighters have pulled out of his gym sessions proves he is in peak condition.

The 2008 Olympic gold medallist is now free from a niggling groin injury that has hampered him in recent years.

He said: “I’ve been working really well and we’ve had sparring partners deciding not to come and face me again because I am in such good shape.

“In my mind, that shows I am bang on course for a world title shot later this year. This is certainly my time now.”

His trainer Jim McDonnell said: “He’s in the best shape he’s ever been. I have honestly never seen him looking so good.

“No wonder so many sparring partners have pulled out, deciding not to come back a second time after sparring him.

“I’ve been getting calls from them saying they have bruised knuckles and can’t make it.

“I can name four, all good fighters, but I won’t. They know who they are and, to be honest, if I trained them I wouldn’t fancy my men sparring with James, either.”

DeGale, 27, is determined to put on a top class show in tomorrow’s contest, live on Channel 5.

He said: “Now the groin injury is over and done with, it will be like fighting without any handcuffs on because that’s the way it has felt in my recent fights.

“I have only been fighting at about 80 percent but now I am fully fit and raring to go. I can see me fighting for a world title after the summer.

“It’s all looking good because I was fooling myself before, trying to convince myself I was fully fit – but I wasn’t. Now, however, I am and I am raring to go.

“I am feeling absolutely great I’m right up there, because I have been getting into the ring knowing that I wasn’t 100 percent fit.

“Believe me, it was quite a distraction for me when I was about to fight in my recent bouts. But now that kind of worry has gone.

“This is definitely going to be my year. It is my time and I aim to make the most of it because I know I am right on track for that world title shot.

“I am on course for the top and I intend to get there. It’s a great feeling to be finally injury free and that is giving me a real boost for what promises to be a great year for me.”

Tags: James DeGale image  
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Dirk Diggler UK on 03-03-2014

[QUOTE=springfiels;14278726]No way they are any better, and saying that about Glen Johnson is just trying to downplay Groves better opponent.[/QUOTE] No it's saying the truth. Johnson showed up for a sparring session with Bute, then lost to some bum and…

Comment by Paddy Mashdown on 03-03-2014

[QUOTE=springfiels;14278726]If Badou Jack-Degale lands on the undercard of Mayweather-Maidana, that is the end of Degale.[/QUOTE] The same Badou Jack who got KTFO this weekend? lol

Comment by bboy80 on 02-28-2014

In terms of talent, Degales has masses. Problem is he cant work for 12rnds. Once he sorts his fittness out, or if he is ever able to. He will be a much better fighter.. Hand speed and combos he comes…

Comment by mrbigshot on 02-28-2014

[QUOTE=Dirk Diggler UK;14278436]DeGale dominated, embarrassed and humiliated Paul Smith in front of his hometown way before Groves got to him. Smith actually rocked Groves in the first round of their fight but barely landed a glove on DeGale. Groves other…

Comment by Straightener on 02-28-2014

[QUOTE=Dirk Diggler UK;14278436]DeGale dominated, embarrassed and humiliated Paul Smith in front of his hometown way before Groves got to him. Smith actually rocked Groves in the first round of their fight but barely landed a glove on DeGale. Groves other…

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