DeGale: I am going to be world champ!

OLYMPIC gold medallist James DeGale has set himself the target of becoming a world champion in three years, writes MATT DINER. The talented middleweight was at Peacock s Gym in Canning Town to watch Floyd Mayweather Senior train a fortnight ago and after

OLYMPIC gold medallist James DeGale has set himself the target of becoming a world champion in three years, writes MATT DINER.

The talented middleweight was at Peacock's Gym in Canning Town to watch Floyd Mayweather Senior train a fortnight ago and after the event was keen to push his own credentials.

"I want to be fighting and winning the British title next summer and I want to be knocking on the door for a world title in 2012," he said.

"I need another 10 more fights and then I think I am there."

Trainer Jim McDonnell, himself a former champion and a former trainer of Frank Bruno, sees great potential in his latest prot�g�.

"I think James DeGale will be in the next eight years or so at the same stage as Floyd Mayweather, he is that good," he said.

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"I say it again, look at the status quo. He (Mayweather) was a bronze medallist, James was a gold medallist."

The 23-year-old, who is also known as 'Chunky', admits there is a lot of hard work and training ahead, especially competing in two of the toughest weight classes currently in boxing.

Michael Kessler and Kelly Pavlik are strong champions and with both Paul Williams and James Kirkland also touted as stars of the future, it will be no easy task for the Londoner.

"I need to train hard and work hard seven days a week with Jim and you can see a big difference in my second fight from my first fight," he said.

"I keep working the circle and I'm coming on nice. Every time I box you will see me get better and better."

DeGale has won both his professional bouts to date, but after a points win over Georgian Vepkhia Tchilaia, he was roundly criticised for his performance.

However, he made amends in his next contest when after being roundly booed by a raucous crowd at the Odyssey in Northern Ireland, he destroyed Jindrich Kubin in the first round.

"I needed that big win to silence some of my critics," he confirmed.

"I'm not an idiot who just because I won at the Olympics think I will get it easy.

"The booing was not that bad, and it does not bother me too much, I performed well and that's the most important thing."

McDonnell, however, saw both fights in a different light to DeGale and probably most of those watching.

"Now I know this may sound a little strange, but I don't think there was much improvement from his second fight from his first," he said.

"He has so many options going for him as a boxer when he fights, he could take guys out in the first round, he could take guys out in the last round.

"He is an excellent technical boxer as well. He can also box just as good conventionally or as a southpaw as well, he really can achieve a lot in the sport.

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