IBF super middleweight champion James DeGale (21-1, 14 KOs) has upgraded his standards for the level of opposition he’s interested in fighting. Instead of looking to fight guys like George Groves, who has lost three out of his last five fights, DeGale is now interested in fighting the good super middleweights in the ivision instead of the struggling fighters like Groves.
DeGale says he wants to fight Andre Dirrell again, and fight guys like Andre Ward and Arthur Abraham. However, DeGale is still taking an easy mark in his next fight against Lucian Bute. That’s a mismatch on paper because the 35-year-old Bute has lost 2 out of his last 4 fights, and looks like he’s pretty much shot at this point in his career.
“I’m looking at [Andre] Ward, I’m looking at Dirrell again, I’m looking at [Arthur] Abraham, the big fighters,” DeGale said to skysports.com. “I just want to get in there and box the best. I know on my day I am very, very hard to beat, so it’s all looking good.”
Well, let’s hope that DeGale’s promoter Eddie Hearn starts matching him against quality fighters like the above mentioned fighters after he gets done with his mismatch against Bute because it would be a pity if DeGale ends up fighting record-padding opponents his entire career. Hearn has a reputation for matching his fighters against weak opposition for some reason. In a lot of his fight cards, the A-side fighters tend to be involved in mismatches.
DeGale recently defeated Dirrell by a 12 round unanimous decision last May to win the vacant IBF super middleweight title in an exciting fight. DeGale was really pleased with the win, calling it the best of his career. DeGale liked the fight so much that he wants to face Dirrell again.
DeGale will be fighting Bute on November 28th in Quebec, Quebec City, Canada.
DeGale wanted to fight Groves before his recent loss to WBC super middleweight champion Badou Jack. That defeated removed any chances of a fight between Groves and DeGale, because it would have made him look badly if he would have agreed to fight Groves after the defeat.
“I’m looking forward to a competitive hard fight but the way I am feeling in the gym and sparring, no one is going to beat me,” DeGale said.