Exclusive: James DeGale talks Cleverly v Jack, rematch hopes and eyes future Andre Ward shot

Joe Hewlett 21/08/2017
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Badou Jack has moved up to light-heavyweight since vacating his WBC crown and takes on Nathen Cleverly for the 175 pound world title.

The pair will cross paths on the undercard of the Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor in Las Vegas this weekend with the WBA regular version on the line.

Jack’s last performance earned him a draw against James DeGale though his former opponent has now questioned the credentials of the American.

“It’s a good fight. I’m not too sure how good Badou Jack is because I fought him injured. He put in a good performance and got a lot of credit for getting a draw with me. I know he’s a good fighter but I‘m not too sure if he’s elite but we’re gonna find a lot more out. If he can do a job on Nathen Cleverly then he’s elite, world class,” DeGale exclusively told World Boxing News.

And ‘Chunky’ added the fact that he’s even prepared to move up a division to avenge the draw on his record.

“I want a rematch,” he stressed. “I can’t believe he got a draw against me. The last couple of fights I’ve had with the likes of Medina, they shouldn’t be going the distance with me.

“For me to go in the Badou Jack fight and have a close, tough fight with him, it’s really frustrating and I am annoyed with myself but listen, look how good I am.

“I was injured and still got a draw, it’s just a bit annoying. Thankfully I’m still world champion,” DeGale said.

The clash with Jack at the beginning of the year won both men plaudits in what was an absolute classic of a match-up at 168.

DeGale looked on the verge of securing a victory until a dramatic knock-down in round twelve salvaged the Floyd Mayweather fighter a debated draw.

In the process, the Londoner’s front dental bridge got knocked out. DeGale has since assessed the fight and found it ironic with how he earned credit from fans and media alike.

“It’s mad. When you watch it back, it’s crazy. The fight was unbelievable, Jim (McDonnell, DeGale’s trainer) always gave me stick though. Even with the spars I was having close fights, getting into wars .

“All I’ve got to do is be myself and be the boxer I am and it would be so much easier. Watching back the fight, it was a good, entertaining, competitive fight but you don’t want too many of them.

“I was getting hit with silly shots, shots that I wouldn’t have really normally get hit with. I got credit for the wrong reasons.

“I showed I got heart, a good chin, I’ve got guts and I can dig deep, but I don’t wanna do that too much.”

The Brit admitted to WBN he only expects to have a few fights left as he wants to cement is legacy as an all-time super-middleweight great.

“I’ve told my Mum, Dad and Jim, that’s the last time I’m going to do it (get into a war). I’d like to move up and fight Badou Jack again because he isn’t in my class.

“He’s a good fighter, but it annoys me he got loads of credit from it. The likes of Andre Ward (in ther future) are the kind of fights I want to remembered for,” DeGale concluded.

Joe Hewlett is lead writer for World Boxing News. Follow Joe on Twitter @Hewlett95

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