DeGale wants Groves clash at the Emirates

James DeGale aims to take another step towards a world title – and a possible rematch with George Groves – when he faces the unbeaten Gevorg Khatchikian this weekend.

Harlesden’s Olympic gold medallist takes on Khatchikian ahead of a final eliminator for a shot at world super-middleweight title currently held by World Boxing Council champion Sakio Bika.

Before that eliminator against Badou Jack, scheduled for later this year, DeGale, 28, is looking to impress against the 25-year-old Khatchikian at Bristol’s City Academy on Saturday.

DeGale was bang on the 12-stone limit at Friday’s weigh-in, while his opponent came in significantly lighter, at just over 11st 9lb.

James DeGale and George Groves
DeGale and Groves could meet again

Beaten on points by the narrowest of margins by arch-rival and fellow West Londoner Groves in May 2011, DeGale has since been desperate to secure a rematch.

The pair have been at odds since both were being schooled at the Dale Youth Boxing Club in Notting Hill – Groves also beat him on points when they were amateurs.

Winning the WBC crown could mean they meet again as world champions, given that Groves is set for another attempt to topple Nottingham’s IBF and WBA champion Carl Froch in May.

And Arsenal fan DeGale would like a showdown with Groves to take place at the Gunners’ Emirates Stadium.

He said: “Me versus Groves at Wembley would be massive, but I want that fight to happen at the Emirates.

“I’ve known Groves since I was 13 or 14 and I can’t stand him. He is a nasty boy who thinks he’s someone he isn’t.

“By the end of the year I want to be world champion. I’d be the first [British] Olympic gold-medal winner to achieve it. Everything’s going to plan and I will do it.”

A shock victory would propel Khatchikian into title contention but DeGale is confident he will win in impressive style.

“Saturday is potentially a banana skin for me but he hasn’t boxed outside of the Netherlands and the quality of his opposition hasn’t been the best,” he said.

“When he gets in with me he is going to know about quality. He’s in trouble.”

West London Sport will have live updates from DeGale v Khatchikian from around 9pm on Saturday.

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