James DeGale plans to replace Carl Froch as Britain’s super-middleweight star as talks continue about a world title fight in the near future.
Promoter Eddie Hearn revealed this week that he is yet to agree a suitable date for a proposed Las Vegas clash between Froch and Mexican star Julio Cesar Chavez Jnr.
Two men top the list of alternative opponents, with old rival Mikkel Kessler keen for a third fight, while former amateur star DeGale would appear the more likely option.
The Londoner is mandatory challenger for the IBF belt currently held by Froch, who must defend it before February 29, and is brimming with confidence after halting Brandon Gonzales in May.
Froch extended his reign as WBA and IBF king on that same Wembley bill, ruthlessly knocking out George Groves in front of a huge audience, but DeGale feels the time is right to dethrone the champion.
I think Carl Froch has had his time, he’s been in some fantastic fights, earned a lot of money, but he’s getting on he’s 37, I’m 28 I’m in my prime now.
He told Sky Sports: “One hundred per cent. I think Carl Froch has had his time, he’s been in some fantastic fights, earned a lot of money, but he’s getting on he’s 37, I’m 28 I’m in my prime.
“The next five years of my career are very important and it’s time for me to take over now, to get those titles.”
Unlike Groves, DeGale has a healthy respect for Froch, who has racked up a number of big-name victories during his lengthy ring career.
But he has spotted weaknesses while watching his rival and expects to expose them.
“On my side I’ve got utmost respect for him,” said DeGale. “He’s a true warrior, the things he’s achieved in boxing is unbelievable, but when we get in the ring the respect goes out of the window and we get in there and we fight.
“I’ve said it for years, I’m all wrong for Carl Froch and I’m confident of beating him.
“Carl Froch is a bit of a throwback, he’s a bit of a caveman. He’s tough, he’s strong, he’s got a good engine, that’s his attributes.
“But his negatives are his hands are down low, he crosses his feet, he’s slow, there is so much I can point out, it’s unbelievable.”
This confidence is shared by trainer Jim McDonnell, who masterminded the victory over the previously unbeaten Gonzales.
It doesn’t matter who is in the other corner. I’m not being disrespectful to Froch or Kessler or (Gennady) Golovkin or whoever is in that other corner. I’m telling you no one will stop him, no one, said McDonnell.
All he wants to do is become a world champion. He won’t let anything stop him.