DeGale says he can be the new Calzaghe of British boxing

James DeGale is ESPN UK's No.1 super-middleweight. Patrick Smith/Getty Images

James DeGale believes he can become Britain's No. 1 boxer in 2017 ahead of Anthony Joshua and Carl Frampton.

Londoner DeGale (23-1, 14 KOs) faces the US-based WBC champion Badou Jack (20-1-2, 12 KOs) in a world super-middleweight title unification clash at the Barclays Center in New York on Jan. 14.

"I would say it would make me No. 1, to unify the titles in New York, it doesn't get better than that," DeGale told ESPN. "It would make me top of the pile after becoming Olympic gold medallist, then becoming the first Olympic gold medallist form Britain to become a world champion and then making another bit of history by becoming the first super-middleweight who has gone across the pond and unified the division.

"Hopefully I will get the respect I deserve after beating Jack and people will realise what an achievement it is."

Joshua won three world heavyweight title fights last year and has his own unification clash against Wladimir Klitschko in front of an expected 90,000 crowd at Wembley Stadium on April 29.

And Belfast's unbeaten Frampton won his a unification fight against Scott Quigg before stepping up a division to beat WBA featherweight champion Leo Santa Cruz in New York. Frampton faces Santa Cruz in a rematch on Jan. 28 and the Northern Irishman was undoubtedly Britain's best boxer of 2016.

But DeGale believes winning a fourth consecutive world title fight overseas and a busier 2017 will make him the best of Britain's 13 world champions.

"My career is a bit like Joe Calzaghe's, I'm in a similar position," DeGale told ESPN. "He had his career-defining fight against Jeff Lacy. He had been world champion for years by then, he had a lot of doubters and haters but he pulled it off.

"I'm in a similar situation and people will know that I'm the real No. 1 in the division and Britain after I beat Jack, just like Joe did when he beat Lacy."

DeGale's profile in the UK has waned recently despite his overseas success, with his last UK performance coming against Marco Antonio Periban in Nov 2014.

But victory over Jack would set up a mouth-watering clash with British rival Callum Smith, who is mandatory challenger for the WBC belt.

"It has taken me out of the spotlight by boxing away from home but in the US my profile has risen and I've been getting nice numbers but my profile has probably dipped," DeGale told ESPN.

"But next year I'm back here and Callum Smith is going to be my homecoming fight. The O2 Arena or you could be looking at the Emirates Stadium in the summer for that one."