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Dave Coldwell maps out 'Chunky's' future (CC69)


Pavlik would aid DeGale's standing across The Pond

LET’S assume the rumours are true, and James Degale is about to fight for a world title – possibly on the big March 19 show of Frank Warren’s. If he does fight for the WBA world title, is it the right move for a talent like him or could it be just that bit too soon?


There is often temptation when you have a good prospect to move him on very fast, especially if the fighter has such confidence in his own ability that he wants to be fast-tracked to the big fights.


Willie Casey has been fast-tracked, but without being disrespectful to “Big Bang”, whom I think has done fantastically… he isn’t the same type of prospect as Degale. Casey could be beaten at British level, so for him to get a fight for a world title so early on is something to grab as an opportunity like that may not come again.


DeGale is being groomed for stardom by Frank Warren, he has talent for sure and they are hoping he develops into the fighter they committed to invest in. For me, I would like to see him have a few more fights before going in at the top.


It’s a big jump going from fighting at the level DeGale has been operating at, to becoming a WBA title-holder. He’s fought one person that has come to win in Paul Smith – the rest either didn’t expect to win or knew they were there to be beat.


The step up in levels to fight for the world title is not so much the prospective opponent for the fight, WBA champion Dimitri Sartison, as he’s not really in James’ class ability-wise, but it’s the fact that upon winning that title, DeGale would then be in world-class fights constantly.


The one thing that bugs me about the WBA though, is that Sartison isn’t really the world champion, well he is, but only because they decided to make Andre Ward their ‘Super’ champion. Yep, as if there weren’t enough titles and confusion in the game. Ridiculous.


So for me, Sartison, who fought a European-class fighter to pick up his vacant title, isn’t really a proper world champion. But he has the WBA title so James would pick that up in beating him.


My issue is, then James would be targeted by some big names in the division, some of whom may beat him not because they are more talented and better fighters, but maybe because he hasn’t had the experience and grounding and been built up in learning fights.


To be honest, apart from George Groves and Brian Magee, who is fighting Lucian Bute for the IBF title, there isn’t anyone domestically that could test him. Maybe, if fit and on his game, Tony Quigley would pose problems but I would still expect DeGale to emerge as the winner. But Quigley would offer a good learning fight.


I think the best thing for DeGale would be to have a couple fights against some ‘names’. We could get Edison Miranda over here, that would be a great learning fight against a good name who’s known to be dangerous. I think James beats him, and that sort of win would accelerate his name and standing in the game, but more importantly prepare him for the bigger names and bigger fights ahead.


Maybe after that, providing he’s sorted himself out James could go over to the States and fight Kelly Pavlik. Again, a very good name and a winnable fight for DeGale as we all know what Pavlik is like if you take a step to the left, or a step to your right!


Those two wins would put DeGale in good standing over in the States if he were to win and look great in doing so, and with his style he should look very good in those fights. Then he would be mentally ready, and will have had the names on his résumé to be confident enough, to grab that WBA title, or the WBO belt that Robert Stieglitz has.


From then on it’s anybody’s guess as to how good DeGale really can be; some are proclaiming him to be an elite-level fighter. I think we’ll know how good he genuinely is after fights like the ones I’ve mentioned.



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Put DeGale in with Pavlik while Pavlik is still not well, have James win a world title early on his career, so he can make the promoters and tv loads of money, then make his first defence against a good name who is old with nothing left, just like those clever promoters did with Davey Moore, because then we'll know how good he genuinely is........
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He's only beaten "one" good fighter domestically, and he wasn't even considered that good to start with.

The bandwagon has fairly taken off with DeGale, way before he's earned it, but if he can stay on the wave, then fair play.

Before that he nobody of note whatsoever, and while Sartison isn't great either, and is probably the right guy to target, noone would have batted an eyelid if even Smith was facing him. Infact some would fancy Smith to beat him.


He's not done enough to operate at the higher, "actual" decent opponent levels yet, but there are only a few guys on that top level, and he probably won't have to face any of them for a good few fights yet, even if he does earn the WBA trinket.

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I give every boxer the same amount of respect and viewing time. The only time i go off boxers, like i did with Mayweather Jr, Haye, Hamed, Calzaghe and a few others is when they promise so much and don't deliver. When they mouth off and then don't fight. When they talk the talk but don't back it up.


So far, DeGale's career has gone well. He hasn't even reached double figures and he's being linked with World title shots. If one comes from him in 2011 and he wins it, then he deserves all the praise in the World.


At the moment i'm a huge DeGale fan and expect him to become a boxing sensation. I hope he doesn't become a big mouth who doesn't back up his words though.

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