Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 2 August 2014

Golden boy Degale has feet on ground

James Degale may have the swagger and confidence of an Olympic champion but arrogance will not be a flaw to endanger his rise to the top.

Degale has a plan to become the first British gold medallist to become a world champion and promoter Frank Warren is the man guiding the Londoner.

Laid back and oozing self-belief, Degale has been working hard with coach Jimmy McDonnell as he seeks to knock off the amateur rough edges.

Tonight Degale should chalk-up his second professional victory and at the same time put behind him the booing he received from some sections of the crowd on his debut in February.

Jindrich Kubin of the Czech Republic is the man in the opposite corner as Degale bids to “give the Belfast public a real show”.

He added: “I seriously want to be fighting for the British title next summer. I want Frank to get me that.

“I know I have a lot to learn but I feel that already my training is great and I’ve developed an awful lot since my debut.

“Jimmy and I have worked on some of the amateur things I was doing in my debut and they’re gone.

“The Belfast public are going to see me be more explosive and just more professional. Just wait and see.”

Promoter Warren was left frustrated by some of the criticism that came Degale’s way and even the Olympic champion himself admits that “only when I win a world title will I get ten out of ten.” He added: “I accept that this is the way it is and I just have to go out there and keep improving and keep winning.”

Warren has no doubt that Degale has the potential to go all the way along with his other two amateur stars Frankie Gavin and Billy Joe Saunders who box tonight as well.

Warren said: “James got some boos but it was blown out of all proportion. He’s a young guy learning his trade and anybody who knows the sport would understand that.

“I’m sure that he will box a lot better on Friday night. He has a lot of talent and I know that the Belfast public will enjoy him.”

Degale knows that he needs to give a more polished display and he should deliver whether inside the distance or not.

Saunders, who arguably made the most impressive debut in Birmingham, also has a four rounder onthis evening’s Sky televised show (10pm).

Saunders said: “I think the pro game suits me a lot better than the amateurs because you can take your time more.

“I haven’t found the switch over that hard and I’m looking forward to showing the Belfast public what I’ve got.”

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