James DeGale lines up homecoming fight at Arsenal’s Emirates stadium in June, with Gennady Golovkin one of four big names being considered
james DeGale is planning a homecoming super-fight in London this summer against one of the world’s top boxers.
Britain’s world super-middleweight champion is hoping to fulfill his dream of boxing at the Emirates Stadium, home of his beloved Arsenal.
The opponent will be selected from this impressive list: Gennady Golovkin, Callum Smith, Andre Ward and George Groves.
James DeGale is planning a huge homecoming fight in London in June
De Gale defeated Badou Jack in a gruelling and gripping encounter in New York in January
The Emirates Stadium, home of DeGale’s beloved Arsenal, could host his next encounter
DeGale is close to finalising a deal with one of that imposing quartet, even though all four have other scheduled commitments.
He believes that one of them will make himself available for a huge money fight this June, which would be his triumphal return from an arduous schedule of four fights in America that started with his adding of a world title to his Olympic gold medal.
The first British boxer to achieve that double breaks down those potential opponents like this: ‘Golovkin? I walk around less than a stone above the super middleweight limit and could easily go down to fight this great man for the middleweight title.
‘I would love to fight Callum Smith because he is the new young man on the rise who a lot of people seem to think could beat me. But I don’t and it would please me to prove them wrong.
‘Ward, like Golovkin, is among those quoted as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. It would be an honour to share a ring with him and just as I could go down for Gennady, I could go up to light heavy for Andre.
Gennady Golovkin (right) is the stand-out name on an impressive four-man list
Callum Smith is another in contention, with many backing him to defeat DeGale
‘The Groves fight is always there although my winning the world title, while he has failed three times to do that, kills him. But it is a big British fight in which I could wipe out the only defeat in my pro career.’
DeGale has a dispensation for a voluntary world title defence before honouring his mandatory obligations and says; ‘I expect to be in action here in London in June.’
That return to these shores will be greeted by a heightened appreciation following his exploits the other side of the Atlantic.
DeGale has found that the severity of his battle with Badou Jack in New York in January, in which he got off the floor and took his licks in order to keep his belt, has won over much of the British public.
On receiving recognition of his exploits, at last, he says: ‘It has been nice to have people walking up to me I the street and congratulating me. It may seem sick to say that I enjoyed such a brutal fight but perhaps I realised while it was going on that it might give me respect’
Certainly, at a Boxing Writers Club lunch in London, DeGale came across as much matured by his gruelling four-fight American sojourn.
DeGale joked at nearly losing his teeth with a £2 mouthshield when he fought Jack
Once accused of being too brash, he made fun of himself by revealing he risked having two of his front teeth knocked out because he wore a £2 over-the-counter gumshield, instead of investing a fraction of his seven-figure purse in a bespoke protector.
He said: ‘That will teach me to be vein.’
He also found time to confirm that he will be among the 90,000 crowd at Wembley stadium next month, when he expects stable-mate Anthony Joshua to defeat previously long-reigning world heavyweight champion, legend Wladimir Klitschko, in their huge title fight.
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