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Champion wants unification bout

ON A MISSION: World champion James DeGale

JAMES DEGALE is a man on a mission to unify the super-middleweight division and while the London born boxer is frustrated at not landing the ‘big fight’ since he became IBF champion last year he told the Voice of Sport he won’t be taking his next opponent, Rogelio Medina, lightly.

DeGale admitted he can’t wait to get it on with WBC champion Badou Jack later this year, a fight that looks certain to happen should the British boxer beat Medina on April 30 in Washington D.C.

The Arsenal fan has long spoken of his desire to take on the best in his division and has no fear of any fighter, but he recently said that he would have liked things to have moved on a little quicker. “Is there a bit of frustration, yeah probably, but it’s coming, I’ve got to wait, but it is coming,” said DeGale.

Weighing up the prospects of Medina he said: “Lets be real, this guy shouldn’t go the distance, he has six losses on his record and every time he has stepped up he’s been beaten. So I should deal with him and deal with him well.

“He can bang. I think out of his 34 wins he knocked out 30 or something like that. Obviously they were at a lower level but he still has to get in there and knock them out. But the way I am feeling and the way I am training this guy shouldn’t pose too many problems.”

Coach Jim McDonnell’s assessment of Medina’s threat echoed the sentiments of his fighter and admitted in order to keep DeGale focused he ensures that the 2008 Olympic gold medallist trains like a challenger despite being champion.

“The moment he beat Anthony Dirrell I showed James an article featuring one of his boxing heroes, Marvin Hagler. In it he was saying that when you become a champion, that is when your mindset has to change, you have to keep the mindest of a challenger.

“To lose the hunger is to lose everything. If you haven’t got the hunger and you haven’t got the desire then you won’t be the same animal that challenged for the title and the other people coming through will have that ingredient.”

Keen to stay busy and home in on the type of challenges that truly whet his appetite DeGale said: “I could fit in three fights (this year). This one against Medina, one in September and then in November. We’ll see how big they are and what time we have.”

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