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DeGale sees himself as world champion by next year

James DeGaleBy William Mackay: EBU super middleweight champion James DeGale (12-1, 9 KO’s) will be fighting on October 13th against a still to be determined opponent. DeGale, 26, has fought only once in the past year due to problems with his promoter. He’s now free and clear of all that and with Mick Hennessy. The 2008 Olympic gold medalist DeGale needs to get his career moving forward because he’s been spinning his wheels pretty much since his loss to George Groves last year in May.

That defeat was a huge blow to DeGale and it seemed to knock the wind out of him despite the fact that he fought well enough to deserve the decision. Perhaps it bothers him more because the fight was so competitive and he failed to establish that he’s any better than Groves. But then again, Groves failed to show that he was better than DeGale. It was a fight that perhaps should have been scored a draw or if anything a win for DeGale.

In an interview with Kugan Cassius at iFILM London, DeGale said “It’s a new start, a new chapter. I have another fight in December [after his October 13th clash]. I don’t see why by this time next year that I’ll be world champion or on the verge of being a world champion.”

DeGale, #4 WBO, # 5 WBC, #6 IBF, is ranked high enough to where he likely will get a title shot in 2013 if he keeps winning his fights and stays busy. He’s got to fight more than once a year, however, because that’s not going to get the job done as far as landing him a title shot. And he also needs to start improving his competition because he’s gone downwards since the Groves fight, beating Piotr Wilczewski and Cristian Sanavia. DeGale needs to at least face a fringe contender that will give him an opportunity to show how good he is.

The chances of DeGale beating any of the world champions next year are probably remote unless DeGale goes after the WBO champ Arthur Abraham or the WBA regular title holder Karoly Balzsay. DeGale would have a good chance of beating Balzsay, but Abraham would be a very difficult fight for him. I don’t give DeGale any chance of beating IBF champion Carl Froch or the WBA/WBC champion Andre Ward. Those guys are too good and too advanced for DeGale right now and he’d be foolish if he even tried to fight them.

DeGale needs the October and December fight in a big way to sharpen his skills for next year if he’s truly serious about wanting to fight for a world title. He needs better opposition than Sanavia. That was a sad joke to see DeGale taking his career backwards just for the sake of holding onto the EBU title. He needs to get rid of that ball and chain and look to start fighting some contenders, because his career will be stunted if he’s stuck defending the European Boxing Union title against the likes of Sanavia or Wilczewski.

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