Mar 18 2010 By Tim Edwards
James DeGale will fight for his first title on May 15 at West Ham United's Upton Park. The Olympic champion, who has only had six professional fights, will challenge for the Vacant WBA International super-middleweight title over 12 rounds.
"I've done 10 rounds in sparring, but I feel ready for the step up," said DeGale, of Harlesden. “I've had a lot of amateur fights, a lot of experience before I turned professional, and people are going to see another wicked performance from me.
"I'm looking forward to hearing the bell go for rounds nine, 10, 11 and 12 so I can prove to people that I can do the championship distance.
"But to be honest I don't think the fight will last that long because I'm feeling so confident at the moment. If I win this fight it will give me a good ranking with the WBA as well and get me noticed all around the world."
The belt has previously been held by current British champion Paul Smith, and DeGale may not be far off challenging for the Lonsdale belt.
"I was there on Friday night when Smith beat Dodson, and I don't think I'd disgrace myself at that level," he added.
"The only thing that is really holding me back is the experience, and by stepping up to championship level I'll be getting it.
"I won't be saying that I'm the best in the world after winning this title, but I'm definitely going in the right direction and I see myself at championship level from now on.
"I want the British, Commonwealth and European titles at super-middleweight and then I'll move on to the world scene."
Promoter Frank Warren added: "I don't think many young fighters have stepped up this early in their career, but James is a special talent."
Tickets for 'Hammer Time', priced between £30 and £250, are available on 0871 222 2700.