James DeGale expects Fulgencio Zúñiga to give him a serious test this weekend but is determined to put on a show against the Colombian.
Harlesden’s European super-middleweight champion will be looking to end 2012 on a high and take another step towards a world title shot by seeing off Zúñiga at the Sports Arena in Hull.
His 35-year-old opponent has plenty experience, having faced former world champions Kelly Pavlik and Lucian Bute. Zúñiga also challenged Tavoris Cloud for the IBF light-heavyweight crown two years ago.
“I’m expecting him to be tough and to come to fight,” DeGale told West London Sport.
“He’s been in there with good guys – the likes of Pavlik, Bute and Cloud – and that shows you his pedigree.
“But I’m looking to show off my boxing skills and show people what I can do. Training’s gone really well and I can’t wait for the fight now.”
Saturday’s clash, which will be screened live on Channel 5, will be DeGale’s second outing since signing with promoter Mick Hennessy.
A long-running dispute with his former promoter Frank Warren meant he fought only once this year before October’s points victory over rugged Frenchman Hadillah Mohoumadi.
“I’m happy because I’m fighting regularly again – I’m being paid and I’m getting on with my career,” said DeGale.
“After Saturday’s fight I’ll have fought twice in a couple of months and the plan is to fight again in January, so I can’t ask for more.
“Next year is going to be a big year for me, but first I want to deal with this guy and show what I’m capable of.”