Super middleweight contender James DeGale has been calling out IBF champion Carl Froch for months. Froch, 37, also the “regular” WBA champion, scoffed at DeGale’s challenges, using words “lack of motivation” and “no interest.”
Last Tuesday, Froch vacated his title, opening up the possibility that DeGale, 29, will face Andre Dirrell on April 25 at the O2 Arena in London, England.
Dirrell, 31, answered in the affirmative when asked about fighting DeGale.
“Hell, yeah! That's a fight I’d be interested in,” Dirrell told www.fighthype.com a few days ago. “Number one, that’s an IBF world championship fight. I’ve only fought for one championship my whole career and that was against Froch in 2009.”
Froch was awarded a highly disputed split decision over Dirrell in a bout that took place in the latter's hometown.
Dirrell expressed no fear in returning to the UK for second time. All he wants is an even playing field and a chance to win a world championship.
DeGale is motivated by a desire to become the first British Olympic gold medalist to win a title.
He’s very aware of Dirrell’s ability.
“Dirrell is a very good fighter, a tricky southpaw, and it would be an awkward fight, but anyone you face for a World title is going to be tough,” said DeGale at a press conferance last week. “That's why I will be putting in twelve weeks of hard work to make the night easy.
“He does the rounds well, and he's technically good, but I could see myself stopping him later in the fight. I am capable of getting in and stopping anyone.”
DeGale (20-1, 14 KOs) has won 10 bouts in a row since dropping a majority decision to rival George Groves in 2011. He impressed in both of his appearances last year. He stopped Brandon Gonzales in four rounds on the undercard of the Froch vs. Groves rematch. He returned six months later to dispatch Marco Antonio Periban with ease. His new-found power surprised many.
Dirrell (24-1, 16 KOs) has two of the fastest hands in the business. He’s knocked out three of his last five adversaries. He sounded pleased when told that DeGale feels he can stop him.
“This is a great fight,” said Dirrel.“This is a great match for the fans and it’s something they want to see. Now me, myself, I know I’m gonna beat the sh*t out of DeGale. And in reverse, he feels the same way about me. So there you have it.
“You have a fight, and I’m looking forward to it!”