DeGale: I’ll win the title for Britain

James DeGale will be aiming to make history when he faces American Andre Dirrell for the vacant IBF super-middleweight title in the United States tonight.

The Harlesden man, 29, will become the first British boxer to win Olympic and world titles if he prevails at the Agganis Arena in Boston.

He faces a talented opponent in the highly rated Dirrell, whose only defeat was a split points decision against Carl Froch in 2009 – a fight many observers believed the American had won.

But DeGale, who won gold in Beijing in 2008 and as a professional has been British and European champion, is confident he will win the title Froch opted to vacate.

And a victory could set up a rematch with DeGale’s arch rival and fellow West Londoner George Groves, who won a close points decision when the pair met in May 2011 – DeGale’s only loss.

“It’s a chance that I can’t let slip,” DeGale declared.

“Dirrell is tricky, talented and confident, but I’m doing it for my country. I’m obsessed with making history.”

Groves, twice beaten by Froch, having been knocked out in their rematch last year after being controversially stopped while ahead in their first encounter, is also in line for a world title shot.

Hammersmith’s former British, European and Commonwealth champion is expected to challenge WBC champion Badou Jack later this year.

Groves is the mandatory challenger for the belt Jack won by beating Anthony Dirrell – the brother of DeGale’s opponent – last month.

DeGale weighed in a  fraction under the 12-stone super-middleweight limit at 11st 13lbs 2oz, while Dirrell was six ounces heavier.

“I’m here on a mission to become the first Olympic gold medallist from Great Britain to win a world title,” DeGale said.

“I’m up against it in Andre Dirrell, who is a very talented fighter, has the pedigree and is quick and fast, but at the end of the day I’m better.

“I’m going to win this world title for myself and for Great Britain.”

Videos courtesy of IFL TV

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