By Terence Dooley
James DeGale's next opponent will be Marco Antonio Periban, as the 30-year-old Mexican was unveiled at a Matchroom press conference Thursday afternoon.
The bout is scheduled for 12 rounds at Liverpool's Echo Arena on. Headlining the show, former light heavyweight titlist Nathan Cleverly meets Tony Bellew in a rematch to their Oct. '11 thriller, with both fighters now campaigning in the cruiserweight division.
A win could elevate DeGale into an IBF super middleweight world title showdown with Carl Froch should he impress. A
lthough DeGale is already the IBF’s mandatory, he told the assembled press that this contest feels like “another eliminator."
Periban, 20-2-1 (13), will hope to pull a Primo Ramos, who scored a stunning 2nd round knockout over then-unbeaten #1 contender Frankie Randall in 1987, ripping away Randall's rankings in the process.
DeGale, though, knows that he cannot put a foot wrong. Promoter Eddie Hearn yesterday told BoxingScene that 'Chunky' has to “make a statement” in this fight.
DeGale, 19-1 (13), will be chomping at the bit to show Froch that he is a viable big fight option. The IBF have already confirmed that Froch will not be allowed to apply for an interim fight so he will lose his belt should he opt for a different route.
"Periban is going to bring the best out of me, I’ll be ready to face Froch at The 02 on," stated DeGale. "It’s not about me boxing Froch, it’s about me winning a world title.
"Making history is what it’s about."
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