DeGale ‘too fresh and too good’ for Bute

Boxing - Intercontinental Super Middleweight Contest - James DeGale v Marco Antonio Periban - Liverpool Echo Arena
James DeGale says he is in brilliant physical and mental shape going into the first defence of his IBF super-middleweight title.

Harlesden’s 2008 Olympic gold medallist takes on former world champion Lucien Bute in Quebec on 28 November.

It will be DeGale’s first fight since he won the title in May by beating American Andre Dirrell on points in Boston.

His next opponent, 35-year-old Bute, is looking to reclaim the belt he held between 2007 and 2012 before he was beaten by Britain’s Carl Froch.

But DeGale insists he is in no mood to relinquish it so soon – and wants to dominate the division.

He said: “I said when I won the world title, I’m willing to box anyone. I want to be in the big fights, I want to unify titles.

“But first things first, I’ve got to defend it against a very solid former world champion.

“He’s still hungry, he wants his old belt back – but I’m too young, too fresh and too good.

“The way I’m feeling – mentally and physically I’m in great shape – it’s going to be hard to beat me.”