Dec 13 2012 by Nick Skoric, Harrow Observer
JAMES DeGale is the only man in the super-middleweight division that can stand up to the pound-for-pound king Andre Ward, according to his coach, writes Nick Skoric.
Jim McDonnell knows his Harlesden fighter still has five per cent more to give despite DeGale’s best performance of his pro career against Fulgencio Zuniga on Saturday.
As a result, the newly crowned WBC Silver champion may overlook a European defence of his title scheduled for January 26 to take on richer pickings.
McDonnell told the Observer: “Zuniga would have made it life or death for other fighters but James made it look easy.
“Someone with James’ talent only comes around every 20 to 30 years and even when he fights for the world titles he will make the good champions look poor.
“His speed is up there with Sugar Ray Leonard and I believe he is the only fighter in the division who can match the skill set of the number one fighter Andre Ward.”
However, Chunky was again criticised for his habit of languishing on the ropes but McDonnell does not believe it is a concern as the Hammersmith contender recovers from his niggling knee problem.
“The day James turned pro he was square on the ropes during sparring and his opponent kept hitting him so he has learned to fight off the ropes,” said McDonnell. “He is comfortable in that position now and was brilliant on the ropes on Saturday.
“It was the best fight of his career so far and I said it would be before Saturday night. James had been carrying a knee injury but he has sorted it out now. It is still not perfect but it is 95 per cent better and it made a difference.”