James DeGale calls out Badou Jack for 168-pound unification fight
James DeGale wants to take the WBC super middleweight title from Badou Jack after successfully defending his IBF crown against Lucian Bute in Quebec on Saturday night.
DeGale travelled to Bute’s backyard for the first defense of the title he won on the road against Andre Dirrell in Boston, with the Romanian-Canadian looking to regain the very belt he surrendered to Carl Froch in 2012.
The Brit raced out of the blocks with great intent and poured the pressure on the challenger from the start, but Bute provided stiff opposition when he was roared on by a partisan crowd.
DeGale was troubled by a cut above his left eye from the fifth round – triggering a period of the fight in the middle rounds that the champion admitted to coasting in – but Bute was unable to penetrate the smart defense of the Englishman who finished strongly down the stretch to claim a unanimous decision.
“I am peaking now,” said DeGale, who is rated No. 3 by THE RING at 168 pounds. “I don’t want to waste any time, so in the next three and four years I want the big fights. I go to Jamaica on a family holiday on December 28, but when I get back, I am right back on it and I would like to be back out in April.
“I think the US networks like me and I want me back in the US. I remember growing up and watching the likes of Prince Naseem Hamed go over to Madison Square Garden and Las Vegas, defending his belts. I looked at that and said one day I am going to do that and that’s what is happening now.
“It’s a good 12 rounds against a top-level opponent and I am only going to get better. I’ve beaten two elite fighters in my last two fights, and I’ve gone overseas to do it, and I want to do it all again by going to Las Vegas and unifying titles against Badou Jack.
DeGale continued, “I never overlooked Lucian. I knew he was going to be good but I’m just confident in my ability and I knew I was going to beat him. He’s brave, he showed heart and he dug in. He’s a great fighter who had nine world title defenses and you have to recognize that he’s elite level. You have to give me credit for dealing with him comfortably.”
DeGale’s win crowned a great night for British boxing, coming just a few hours after Tyson Fury stunned Wladimir Klitschko in Germany to claim THE RING, IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles.
“The Brits are flying right now,” said DeGale. “Tyson pulled off the upset in Germany. I watched it in the hotel, it really did inspire me to go out and keep hold of my title. It gave me that extra push. I boxed in the amateurs with him and been around squads with him, and he’s gone on to prove a lot of doubters wrong.”
Information provided courtesy of a press release issued by Matchroom Boxing