James DeGale intent on defending his world title against Lucian Bute in Canada
- Credit: PA Wire/PA Images
James DeGale has no intention of giving up his world title after his showdown with former champion Lucian Bute was announced – and the former Dale Youth ABC star insists he has no problem with defending his crown for the first time on foreign soil.
DeGale won the IBF super-middleweight title when he overcame Andre Dirrell in Boston in May and he will fight to retain it when he faces the Canadian Bute – who held the world title for five years between 2007 and 2012 – in his opponent’s home country at the Videotron Center in Quebec on November 28.
“I consider it a massive privilege to be a world champion, fighting for Great Britain,” said DeGale. “I went on the road to win my title and my first defence is on away soil as well, but I’m very comfortable with fighting abroad.
“It is another challenge for me to overcome and in the future I can’t wait to defend my title in the United Kingdom.
“I’m lucky enough to have boxed in Canada only a few years ago when I took on Sebastien Demers in Quebec in 2013.
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“I met some great people out there, it is a lovely country and I can’t wait to get back. Whatever happens, however I win, I’m coming back with my belt.”
DeGale added: “Bute is a world-class, elite-level fighter who kept his world title for five years. Anyone who can do that deserves some serious respect.
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“I’m the champion and he will be very fired up trying to win back his old title, but I’m too young, too fast, too skilful to let that happen.
“My trainer, Jim McDonnell, has always said getting the world title is hard, but keeping it is even harder.
“I’m under no illusions about this fight, but I’m also a massive believer in my own ability and I aim to show just who is the best super-middleweight in the world on November 28.”
Bute will have other plans in front of his own supporters. The 35-year-old claimed the world title in Montreal in 2007 and defended it nine times before eventually losing to Carl Froch in Nottingham in May 2012.
“‘I am really happy to have this opportunity at this point of my career,” he said. “I lost my title in England against an English fighter, and now I will box in Quebec against another English boxer for the same title I defended for five years.
“I am really motivated by this opportunity to regain the title I lost in 2012.
“The fact that the fight will take place in front of my fans in Quebec, where I have never lost, will be the factor that will make the difference.
“I give all my respect to the champion James DeGale for accepting to travel for his first defence, but the IBF belt will stay in Quebec.”