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DeGale talks Truax, Benavidez & Eubank Jr.

Chris Eubank Jr James DeGale

By Jeff Aranow: James DeGale (23-1-1, 14 KOs) is finally 100 percent healthy and ready to defend his IBF super middleweight title this Saturday night against Caleb Truax (28-3-2, 18 KOs) on Showtime, BT Sport and BoxNation at the Copper Box Arena in London, UK.

This is not a fight that DeGale would normally look to make. He’s using Truax as a tune-up fight to get him ready for a much bigger match against WBC champion David Benavidez in 2018.

DeGale is looking beyond the fight with Truax towards a unification fight against WBC champion David Benavidez (19-0, 17 KOs) next year. DeGale says that will be his next fight. He’s already had a conversation with his adviser Al Haymon and it seems all signals are go for the Benavidez fight.

DeGale needs to get some rounds in on Saturday against Truax, because he’s been out of the ring since last January. DeGale fought to a 12 round draw against Badou Jack in that fight. DeGale had a shoulder and nose problem that he needed to be fixed before he could return to the ring. Both of those problems have been taken care of, and he’s ready to fight again.

Truax is not someone that DeGale should be overlooking at this point. Truax can hit hard, and he has a way of commanding respect inside the ring. Truax mostly wins his fights by knockout. When he does lose, he gets beaten by good fighters like Anthony Dirrell, Daniel Jacobs and Jermain Taylor.

“David Benavidez next year is the plan,” DeGale said on the BoxNation Podcast. “I spoke to Al Haymon and asked if he could make that fight. He said ‘James, that is the plan.’ As soon as I’ve dealt with Truax the first stop in 2018 is Benavidez.”

Benavidez is available to fight DeGale. 3 of the other top super middleweights in the division, George Groves, Callum Smith and Chris Eubank Jr., are all tied down in the World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) tournament. WBO super middleweight champion Gilberto Ramirez didn’t take part in the WBSS, but his promoters at Top Rank have other plans for him. They’re interested in matching Ramirez against Gennady Golovkin in the future. DeGale could face the winner of the WBSS tournament in late 2018 if everything goes right.

“I don’t care about him. He’s an idiot,” said DeGale to Behind The Gloves in talking about Chris Eubank Jr. “He’s a bum, really. He hasn’t beaten no one. He’s famous. It’s true what [George] Groves says. He’s instant famous, going on sparring stories, and his dad’s name. He’s an idiot, and Groves will probably knock him out,” said DeGale.

Undercard fights for Saturday:

Heavyweight Daniel Dubois (5-0, 5 KOs) fights Dorian Darch (12-5-1, 1 KOs) in a 10 round fight on the DeGale-Truax undercard.

IBF featherweight champion Lee Selby (25-1, 9 KOs) fights Eduardo Ramirez (20-0-3, 7 KOs).

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