Super middleweight contender James DeGale, a 2008 Olympic gold medalist for Great Britain, will make his North American debut Friday (WealthTV, 7 p.m. ET) when he faces Sebastien Demers at Casino du Lac-Leamy in Gatineau, Quebec.
DeGale (14-1, 9 KOs), fighting for the first time since he routed Fulgencio Zuniga for a lopsided 12-round decision in December, has fought all but one of his pro fights in the United Kingdom, save for one bout in Denmark. He is looking forward to fighting on the other side of the pond.
“I’m feeling good, very good,” DeGale, 27, said. “I haven’t been out of the gym since the beginning of the year. I’ve had a couple of fights canceled on me and postponed, but obviously I’m a true professional. I’ve been in the gym training hard and I’m just looking forward to [fighting in] Canada. It means a lot to be making my debut in North America. I traveled a lot as an amateur, traveled the world, but I haven't done too much as a pro to be honest.”
Demers (31-5, 11 KOs), of Quebec, took the fight on short notice but is an experienced veteran. In his only world title fight, he was knocked out in the third round by then-middleweight titlist Arthur Abraham in 2007.
Demers, 33, owns a 2010 win against faded former middleweight titlist William Joppy, but has lost his three bouts since, two by early knockout.
For DeGale, the fight is a way to get busy, show to a new audience what he can do, and keep working toward a world title shot.
“I can't wait to get out and fight, put on a great performance and move on and keep on progressing,” DeGale said. “Boxing is big out there, it’s one of their biggest sports. They’ve got some great fighters -- so in the future I could be fighting over there [in North America] again in another big fight. I want to put on a good performance and let everyone take note, because, like I said before, this is my year, 2013 is going to be my year.”