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DeGale laughs off Froch’s claims about giving him a ‘pasting’

18:45 16 November 2015

James DeGale shows off his IBF super middleweight belt that he won after defeating Andre Dirrell, at the O2 Arena, London.

James DeGale shows off his IBF super middleweight belt that he won after defeating Andre Dirrell, at the O2 Arena, London.

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Harlesden boxer James DeGale has played down talk of facing Carl Froch in the near future, insisting the latter’s recent comments about giving him a ‘pasting’ are merely a ‘publicity stunt’.

The 29-year-old takes on Lucian Bute in Canada on November 28 as he seeks to defend his IBF super middleweight title.

And ahead of that bout, Froch – who called time on his glittering 12-year career in July - says he is contemplating coming out of retirement to face DeGale next year.

However, DeGale says Froch should stay out of the ring, while quashing talk he would get beaten by him.

He told the Times: “He’s an old man, if I were him I’d just stay retired and just relax and chill. He’s had a good career and won a lot so I don’t see why he’d come out of retirement now.

“It’s just a publicity stunt, he wants to keep himself in the limelight. With someone like Carl Froch it comes down to how much money you’re going to get, so that’s not one I can see happening.

“I’m the world champion so would take 75% of the cut and he would never agree to a 25% share, nor would he a 50/50 split and that’s a fact. That said if he actually came to me and said let’s get it on I probably would fight him, yeah.”

DeGale, who has potential bouts with Badou Jack and Martin Murray on his horizon, says he is relishing next weekend’s bout against Bute - a former IBF world super middleweight champion on 10 occasions in the past.

He added: “Going away to defend my title takes the pressure off me a bit really. I enjoy being part of hostile crowds – that only drives me on more – so roll on November 28.

“I think I’m too young and too fresh for him (Bute) though. Don’t get me wrong he’s a strong fighter and he’s a proven champion, but I’m coming into this on the back of a fantastic win against Dirrell and in the form of my life.

“I’m a confident fighter and after beating one of the best fighters in this division no one fazes me now.

“I don’t think he’s a weaker opponent (to when Froch faced him), but what Carl done then was expose his weaknesses.

“When he gets hits hard and someone shifts his game he falls apart. I’m looking to do the same when I face him and get the job done quickly.”

DeGale says nothing has changed from his previous training regimes in preparation for this fight, insisting he is in the best shape possible ahead of his title defence.

“I’ve been training like a challenger again,” he said. “My preparation with my trainer Jim (McDonnell) couldn’t have gone any better. I’ve got my one world title but I’m not stopping there.

“I want more and more and I’ve made sure I’m in the best possible condition both mentally and physically to defend my title – it’s as simple as that.”

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