By Nick Parkinson, courtesy of The Daily Star
JAMES DEGALE is using fellow Olympic medallist Amir Khan as an inspiration to resurrect his career on October 15.
Khan was knocked out in under a minute by Colombian Breidis Prescott three years ago but has since rebuilt his career with trainer Freddie Roach and won two versions of the world light-welterweight title.
Just as his first professional defeat was the start of better things for 2004 Olympic silver medallist Khan, DeGale is confident of quickly getting over losing to George Groves in May.
Londoner DeGale, 25, lost his unbeaten record and British super-middleweight title on points to bitter rival Groves and is now preparing for his comeback.
DeGale, who won gold at the 2008 Olympics, challenges Pole Piotr Wilczewski for the European title in Liverpool and says he can still be world champion before London 2012.
He said: “Amir is the inspiration. He was the next best thing and Britain’s golden boy and then he lost and got knocked out badly.
“But just over a year later, he was a world champion. Now he’s pound for pound one of the best in the world. I look at Amir and think if he can do it, I can do it. Of course I can do it.
“I haven’t spoken to him since my loss, but I look to him for inspiration.
“My target is still to be a world champion by the time of the Olympics so I’ve got to get my act together.
“When I win this European title – touch wood everything goes right – I’ll have one defence in December, then another one, and then in April or May, I want to be boxing for a world title.”
DeGale admits he underestimated British and Commonwealth king Groves and promises to now cut out the trash talk.
He said: “I used to school him as an amateur so maybe I did underestimate him a little bit.
“Maybe I should hold it down a tiny bit with the talking until I am world champion and then I can start giving it to everyone then.
“Maybe I do just need to let my boxing do the talking in the ring now.
“Maybe I won’t be as ruthless at press conferences. But saying that, in my ten fights before Groves I was humble and cool. Maybe it has come across as arrogance, but it’s not – I’m just confident in my own ability.”