DeGale will show the doubters
PUBLISHED: 13:27 13 May 2009 | UPDATED: 13:34 24 August 2010
GERARD FARRELL / DZ PICTURES TEL: 0044-7831-396-923
By Ben Kosky JAMES DeGale has vowed to make his detractors change their minds when he returns to the ring in Belfast on Friday night. The Olympic champion was jeered by a section of the Birmingham crowd when he began his professional career with a points
By Ben Kosky
JAMES DeGale has vowed to make his detractors change their minds when he returns to the ring in Belfast on Friday night.
The Olympic champion was jeered by a section of the Birmingham crowd when he began his professional career with a points victory over Vepkhia Tchilaia at the end of February.
But the 23-year-old from Harlesden insists he will convince boxing fans of his credentials when he fights on the undercard of Martin Rogan's Commonwealth heavy-weight title defence at the Odyssey Arena.
"I got a lot of stick, some people were saying I wouldn't make it and I was a little bit upset," DeGale told the Times.
"But it was a very small minority of people, there was a bit of a football crowd, and some of the Irish fans who maybe weren't too happy about me beating [Darren] Sutherland.
"The fact is that even the best fighters get booed - even people like Floyd Mayweather and Joe Calzaghe - and I'll win over those people who booed me.
"Training's been good. For my first fight I was still in the mode of an amateur boxer, but I've been doing different stuff with [trainer] Jim McDonnell and people are going to see a change in me now."
DeGale opened up with a four-round super-middleweight contest in February and stays at four for his second professional outing, against Czech opponent Jindrich Kubin.
Kubin, 30, has not yet fought outside his home country, but has won all five of his contests to date, the last three of them all stoppages.
If the former Dale Youth Club amateur can inflict a first defeat on Kubin, his timetable involves aiming for a longer fight by the end of this year, a British title shot in 2010 and a world championship belt two years after that.
"I wouldn't mind stepping up straight away," DeGale added. "I could do eight rounds in Belfast, but it's up to [promoter] Frank Warren and what he wants everyone to do.
"By next summer I want to be a British champion and by 2012 I want to be a world champion or at least knocking on the door."
Warren has confirmed that, after the Belfast show, DeGale's next ring date will bring him back to his home city for the first time as a pro on Saturday June 27, at the O2 Arena in Greenwich.
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