After heading across the pond to make his name stateside, James DeGale returns home this Saturday, and according to his trainer he's looking better than ever.
DeGale defends his IBF World Super-Middleweight crown at the Copper Box Arena on December 9th against Caleb Truax, his first fight since having surgery on his shoulder.
Speaking to BoxNation after Monday's media workout, Jim McDonnell described some of the improvements he has noticed in camp: "Since he's had the operation, not just his mentality but his physicality.
"Watching the things he can do which he couldn't do previously. His numbers, in some situations, have literally doubled. In terms of number of punches thrown at a time, different strength drills, different flexibility drills," he revealed.
"It's fantastic. Preparation is always key to me, and when you see how good he is now...I'm just excited for the public to watch him box with two hands!"
McDonnell believes the difference between DeGale before and after his operation is "like night and day", and is confident the London crowd will be impressed with the new-look 'Chunky'.
"He's a different kid! I'm gonna leave it until you watch the fight on the night, everyone will be saying the exact same thing to me afterwards," added McDonnell, who has trained the Harlesden boxer since he turned professional in 2008 after winning Olympic gold.
While DeGale admits he needs to blow off the cobwebs on his return to the ring, he is already looking towards next year, where a unification with WBC Champion David Benavidez is a possibility.
"That would be awesome to unify the belts. James is good enough to do that. All the Champions out there, they're all good in their own right, but James wants to prove he's the best. There are some big fights out there," said McDonnell.
Those big fights could include the winner of the World Boxing Super Series; one of George Groves, Chris Eubank Jr or Callum Smith. A colossal all-British Super-Middleweight unification is top of Team DeGale's wishlist.
"That's what the sport's all about,"said the 57-year-old coach. "Big matches - that's what the public want to see, that's what the crowd want to see. People turn out in their droves, especially the British - they love it!
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