Andre Dirrell stated his belief that the occasion may be getting to opponent James DeGale a little as the two went head-to-head at the press conference in Boston during fight week.
The American, who fights DeGale for vacant IBF super-middleweight title on Saturday night, has been in this situation before when losing to Carl Froch back in 2009 and says ‘Chunky’ seemed out of sorts as the two went through their formalities.
“DeGale is not usually quiet. Today he’s chilling, maybe because he’s a little out of his comfort zone. But there’s a lot of tension when you’re standing right there next to your opponent. He might just be a little cranky today,” said Dirrell.
“I like to lighten the mood and stay comfortable. This is all a part of the game. Let’s have fun now. It’s ass-kicking time when we get in that ring, but outside it’s all love,” he added.
Dirrell, 31, and 29 year-old DeGale will battle it out for the belt previously in the possession of Froch at Agganis Arena, with the winner in prime position to mix it with the likes of Andre Ward and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr in the coming months.
Most see the fight as 50-50 on current form having both lost just a solitary bout, although DeGale is aiming to make history by becoming the first UK Olympic gold medallist to become a world champion.