James DeGale has vowed to steal the show when he takes on Brandon Gonzalez on the undercard of the Froch v Groves rematch at Wembley Stadium on May 31.
The 28-year-old knows that an impressive performance in front of the 80,000 fans packed into the stadium will guarantee him a shot at the super middleweight titles that he so desperately craves. But, the former Olympic gold medallist isn’t taking his opponent lightly as Gonzalez will be hoping to secure his own mandatory shot at the IBF and WBA belts.
DeGale told Sky Sports News: "This is humongous. Boxing at an iconic stadium like Wembley in front of 80,000 people is going to be something. For the people to come down here and feel the vibe and see how the boxers are training, they're sampling what's going to happen on the night.
"I win this fight, I'm mandatory challenger for the world title. I get the winner of Froch v Groves. I'm up against a tough talented fighter in Brandon Gonzalez.
"He surrounds himself with good talented people like Amir Khan and Andre Ward, is trained by a good trainer in Virgil Hunter so I'm up against it but training camp has gone great.
"I'm injury free, mentally on point and as Eddie Hearn says I've got my mojo back. I'm feeling nice and I'm ready to do it.”
DeGale, who has won 18 of his 19 professional fights, including 11 by way of knockout, grew quite the reputation during the early stages of his career but suffered a set back when he lost to rival Groves back in 2011.
Now, under Hearn’s guidance, he is determined to get back on track and put himself on the world scene once again by overcoming the dangerous Gonzalez in front of the biggest audience he has ever fought in front of.
However, his 30-year-old opponent will be bringing an undefeated record to England and will provide a genuine threat to DeGale’s career prospects.
Gonzalez has won 18 of his 19 bouts, with ten knockouts. Thomas Oosthuizen is the only man to deny him victory, when they drew via a split decision last year.
Although DeGale does not seem phased by the ordeal and is confident that he’ll put on a great show, similar to the raw boxing talent we saw from him when he earned his Olympic gold medal in 2008.
He said: “I needed the right person to push me there, and shouts to Eddie and Matchroom Sports with Team Chunky. We're doing it big and I just can't wait for Saturday night. It's going to be a hell of a show so whoever's got tickets, fasten your seatbelts.
"The super-middleweight division is probably the best out there at the minute. This is a chance for me to put on a good show and maybe even steal the show against a quality world-class opponent.
"Hopefully after this win, I'll get a bit more credit. It's going to be good.”
If everything goes to plan for the British fighter he could get the chance of revenge against his long-term rival, Groves. That crushing points defeat three years ago cost DeGale the British and Commonwealth 12st titles and was a massive set back for the star on his path to super middleweight glory.
DeGale states that he has no preference as to who wins between Froch and Groves, although it is obvious he would love to get a chance of revenge against the man that inflicted the sole defeat on his previously unblemished record.
Although he is adamant he is not thinking about that at the moment and simply wants to enjoy the night at Wembley by putting on a good performance and then enjoying the spectacle of the main event.
"Everyone knows about the history and rivalry between me and Groves but I'm just focused on Gonzalez at the minute. I've got to get past him and then I can think about the winner of Froch v Groves,” he added.
"I'm looking forward to boxing, doing the business and quickly showering and trying to get back out in time to watch the fight live because I'm just as excited as you lot are.
"The two fighters both genuinely think they're going to win and it's a grudge match. We love the grudge matches."
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