James DeGale's coach says: 'I see a career-best performance coming up'

James Reader talks to coach Jim McDonnell ahead of 2008 Olympic gold medallist James Degale's WBC Silver super-middleweight title fight against Fulgencio Zuniga at Hull on 8 December

30 November 2012    |    0 Comments

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How do you rate James DeGale's opponent Fulgencio Zuniga?
[Fulgencio Zuniga] is a livewire opponent, tried, tested and proven, so this is a step in the right direction [Fulgencio Zuniga's] record stacks up really good. He's had 32 fights, he's won 25, 22 inside the distance, his losses, when you look at Kelly Pavlik, Bute, Tavoris Cloud, these are all top-drawer opponents. James will definitely leave with a 'W'; he's just got to make sure he's got his head on his shoulders. He's a world class fighter, but he's boxing a world class opponent. I probably see it as a late stoppage or clear points for James. James prepares for every fight with the same diligence and he's always in tremendous shape physically and mentally every time he steps in there. I think it's a good fight in this stage of his career.

What is the key to victory for James DeGale?
The secret is what he's doing now. He's come out to Belfast with one of our other fighters, but James is so paramount about his training he's going to come over here tomorrow to spar his last spar. He's such a thorough professional. Looking at him in prep for this fight, the difference is unbelievable. I've got a strong feeling that the better level of boxers, the better he will be. I see a career best performance coming up. James has got tremendous movement, tremendous feet, in his last fight he held the ropes a little bit too long, but he's good on the ropes. We've sorted things out as well. You'll see a real high tempo; he uses a lot of speed. I think you'll see a rapid performance and a lot of people will be taking note of James.

How much has James DeGale's training regime changed since his days as an amateur?
The best way of describing it is to not chuck away his assets; he was an Olympic gold medallist. It would be absolutely crazy to change everything. With James, he's added to the ability he already has and now he's capable of doing so many more things. As an amateur, for example, he never used to throw any body shots ever, but now he’s got all these different assets he’s added to his game. He's travelled to Las Vegas, he's sparred with world champions and world class fighters, and James has only had 12 professional fights, and from fight number seven they've all been 12-rounders.

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