James DeGale will knock out Lucian Bute, insists trainer Jim McDonnell

11:45 27 November 2015

James DeGale (right) and his trainer Jim McDonnell have an excellent relationship

James DeGale (right) and his trainer Jim McDonnell have an excellent relationship

PA Archive/PA Images

James DeGale’s trainer, Jim McDonnell, believes the Harlesden fighter will knock out Lucian Bute in Canada on Saturday – and could do it within just three rounds.

DeGale poses with his IBF super middleweight title at the Emirates last monthDeGale poses with his IBF super middleweight title at the Emirates last month

The 29-year-old is out to defend his IBF super middleweight title on November 28, and McDonnell says there is no doubt in his mind who will come out on top.

He told the Times: “Do not be surprised if James knocks him [Bute] out inside three rounds. I can’t see Bute lasting the distance; he’ll do well to get to six rounds.

“James has prepared for this fight like he is a challenger. He’s been doing stuff that he hadn’t even done before the [Andre] Dirrell fight. We’ve left no stone unturned and James looks better than ever.

“He’s done things in his training camp that are going to be much harder than the fight will be. His whole mentality is that this will be a night off. He could be an SAS soldier; he’s so strong mentally as well as physically.

“He hasn’t underestimated Lucian, that’s for sure. But as long as James is focused, there’s no fighter in this division who would currently get the better of him.

“Bute has never met anyone like James before; he’s in for a shock, believe me.

“When James won the world title that changed him forever, as a person and as a fighter. He’s 10 times better a fighter than when he faced Dirrell and there’s no more pressure on him now, too.”

If DeGale successfully defends his title, a bout with Badou Jack is almost certainly on the cards, and McDonnell says he would be more than happy if that went ahead.

He added: “Unification is the name of the game. It’d be great for him to fight Badou Jack for the WDC title. We’d fight him tomorrow morning.

“James’ dream is to fight at the Emirates, but that’s one fight probably more likely to take place in Vegas.

“James is a special fighter. There will be lots more big fights coming his way. People will see just how good he is over the next few years.

“He had the setback of the Groves defeat and then people were telling him to change his trainer and so forth. But he ignored them all and just done this own thing.

“For me he’s shown loyalty, trust and faith. No-one will back him more than me. He’s an amazing kid and he’s destined for bigger and better things and I’ll be with him every step of the way.”

Meanwhile, McDonnell has laughed off suggestions Carl Froch will come out of retirement to face DeGale, after the former’s recent comments that he would give ‘Chunky’ a “pasting”.

“You can never say never, but that’s very unlikely to happen,” admitted McDonnell. “When the boot was on the other foot and Froch was champion he didn’t want the fight.

“Carl said to James if he wanted the fight to go ahead it would have to be an 80/20 split in his favour. James accepted that, but Carl wasn’t interested.

“Now James can say the same to him this time around as he’s the champion.

“Froch won’t fight him; he’ll use any excuse to not go through with it. I agree with James, he should just stay retired and enjoy his life.”


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