Unbeaten super middleweight Brandon Gonzalez sees "some weaknesses" in 2008 Olympic gold medalist James DeGale in advance of their May 31 IBF title elimination bout on the undercard of the Carl Froch-George Groves rematch at Wembley Stadium in London.
"I'm in a big fight and I can't ask for anything more. Now it's up to me to bring home the victory," said Gonzalez, 29, who is trained by Virgil Hunter, in a press release from his co-promoter, Gary Shaw Productions.
"Virgil and I got a great game plan for this fight. We see some weaknesses in Degale's defense that I'll be taking advantage of. Sparring is almost wrapped up, and I got good work with elite level guys. I've been training extremely hard for this fight. My mind is in beast mode, and I can't wait to get in the ring."
Gonzalez (18-0-1, 12 knockouts) is coming off consecutive bouts with undefeated fighters, with a draw opposite Thomas Oosthuizen last June, and a majority decision victory over Jonathan Nelson in his last fight in November.
"I know my back is against the wall traveling to DeGale's home turf, and that getting a decision will be difficult," said Gonzalez of DeGale, who is 18-1 with 12 knockouts. "But I'm confident that the judges will be fair. With 80,000 people rooting against me, I'm going to be extra motivated to silence the crowd. I'll be looking to end the fight early, but if I need to go all the way, then I'm prepared to go the distance."
The 28-year-old DeGale has won eight consecutive fights, four by knockout, since falling by majority decision to Groves in May 2011.
"I'm anticipating a very strategic approach from DeGale, but that won't matter, because I'm going to be dictating the pace and setting the tone. He's accomplished winning an Olympic Gold Medal, so we know he has great boxing skills that got him to this point in the pros. So with that being said, I'll have to implement my game plan and make adjustments as the fight goes on," said Gonzalez.
"This is the biggest fight of my career. A win puts me in the mandatory position with the IBF. I know if I come out on top, I'll most likely be fighting the winner of Froch vs. Groves for the IBF middleweight title. I'm a hungry fighter, and nothing is going to stop me. I'm on a mission to be the best. My dream of becoming a world champion is so close, I can taste it."