By Terence Dooley
IBF Super middleweight champion James DeGale (23-1-1, 14 KOs) and IBF featherweight counterpart Lee Selby (25-1, 9 early) held a press conference today alongside promoter Frank Warren to confirm and discuss their spots on his December 9 bill, which takes place at London’s Copper Box Arena and will be shown live on both BT Sports and BoxNation.
DeGale, 31, has reunited with Warren five-years years after they parted company. He told the assembled press that he is relishing the prospect of appearing before his hometown fans again after five consecutive fights on the road, which cumulated in a Majority Draw with WBC counterpart Badou Jack in Brooklyn in January.
“I’m delighted to be making my homecoming on December 9,” he said. “I want the biggest fights, I’m recognised as the best Super-middleweight on the planet, but I need to prove it—I’ll box anyone to prove that I’m the best.”
He added: “It's time to come home. I perform better in London. [George] Groves, [Chris] Eubank Jnr and [Callum] Smith. These are the fights that I want. I want the winner (of the WBSS).”
“Chunky” also said he would be prepared to step up in weight yet believes that his chief target at 175lbs is now too old to be a viable scalp. “I would move up in weight to light-heavyweight,” he said. “Adonis Stevenson is a great fighter but he's 40.”
“We are in this for the fans,” stated Warren when confirming the broadcast arrangements. “We are fan friendly. You can see these guys on BT Sport and BoxNation. The link up has been fantastic for us. We’ve got the best young talent not only in the UK, but in the World. We have great talents coming through at the moment.
“Daniel Dubois is a monster, he is also on the show [he meets Dorian Darch] and he frightens me when I see him fight. These are exciting times for UK boxing, I love being involved with these boys.”
Selby has been linked to a fight with domestic rival Josh Warrington, who is now his mandatory challenger, and Warren confirmed that Selby-Warrington will be made provided the 30-year-old Welshman comes through this one unscathed.
“Josh Warrington is obsessed with me, but I’ve got nothing against the boy,” stated Selby, who will make the fifth defence of the belt that he won by beating Evgeny Gradovich via a Technical Decision in May 2015.
“There is no reason why me, Carl Frampton and Josh can’t all fight each other to see who is the best. There’s a lot more to come from me, I’m not the finished article yet, but my main focus is December 9.”
Hackney's light-heavyweight prospect Anthony Yarde (13-0, 12 KOs) will also appear, he meets former WBU title challenger Nikola Skejloca. The 26-year-old believes that he should have fought Frank Buglioni by now without having to go through an eliminator and blasted the current British Champion, saying: “I personally think that Frank Buglioni doesn’t want to fight me.”
DeGale’s and Selby’s opponents will be announced in due course.
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