James DeGale

James DeGale exclusive: ‘I need to be dominant’

Published On Tuesday, December 5, 2017By Joseph Siza
Related Tags: James DeGale

IBF 168lb champion and assistant trainer Jimmy Mac Jr, tell Joseph Siza about their hopes and expectations for this Saturday

James DeGale

How have preparations been going and are you now punching effectively and correctly with your right hand following the shoulder surgery in June?

Yeah punching well and fast with both hands - eight weeks of it now. I had my surgery in June and it has healed up nicely. I have done my physio, done my rehab and feeling good!

Do you still feel we are yet to see the best of James DeGale and is that something you want to show from Saturday – against Caleb Truax - onwards? 

Yeah 100 per cent because the last couple of fights I’ve had, I have been fighting injured. I haven’t been right for the past couple of years but I’m looking forward to showing you all a fully fit version of myself and I’m ready to go.

Are you targeting a stoppage victory this weekend?

Definitely. I need a dominant stand-out performance, people are calling for it.

Fast forward yourself to this time next year, where do you see yourself?

Unified world champion and a lot richer!

Jimmy Mac Jr

What do you make of Caleb Traux as a comeback opponent?

If you look at DeGale’s last four fights, they have all been on the road – Andre Dirrell, Lucian Bute, Rogelio Medina and Badou Jack, four of the toughest fights you could get out there at the time in the super-middleweight division. After having shoulder surgery he more or less deserves a comeback fight. Caleb Traux is a fighter who is very physically strong, game, tough and is coming to win. However, he will realise on Saturday that he is against the best 168lb fighter in the world. I just can’t wait for everyone, especially people from the UK who have been wanting to come out and watch James live or live on TV, to see a wicked performance on Saturday night.

Are you predicting a stoppage victory for James this weekend?

Yes, I am. I don’t like speaking to James about it because I feel it sometimes puts a bit of unnecessary pressure on. People in boxing know Caleb Traux, but the casuals don’t and will be expecting a routine defence. James has got to really be on it - he has had a long time out with his last fight being in January and he wants to go out there and make a statement to show he is the best super-middleweight in the world. 

How does it feel as a team that you are having a media workout and the rest of fight week on your doorstep in London, as opposed to the fight week set-up for DeGale’s last four fights?

It feels really good because there isn’t a need to change anything such as sleeping patterns due to jet lag and so on. I know this also sounds mad but food - when you go down the roads in America it’s just burgers, pizzas and American diners but over here you’re comfortable with what you’re eating, you have your own bed - you’re not stuck in a hotel in the middle of nowhere.

Do you think we still haven’t seen the best of James DeGale?

Yeah definitely, James has plenty more to give. You’ve heard James say before - the better the opponent, the better he boxes. When he went to the Olympic games he was 80/1 to win a gold medal and he went out and won it. The fights that really get his juices flowing is the George Groves rematch, if Eubank comes through and wins the  [World Boxing Super] Series, that could be a great fight because of all the history with the sparring. Callum Smith as well - he is a top fighter at 168 and James wants these big fights and ultimately wants to show he is the best in the division.