Britain’s premier fight promoter Frank Warren has propelled James DeGale into a European title shot against Piotr Wilczewski despite coming off the back of a closely contested majority decision defeat to long-time rival George Groves, and DeGale paid credit to Warren at a press conference earlier today, Thursday, for making it happen. Wilczewski, meanwhile, believes he’ll be the better supported fighter despite the bout taking place in DeGale’s backyard in London.
“It’s fantastic that I’m fighting for the European title on my first fight back and full credit to Frank Warren for doing a great job in getting me it,” DeGale told the assembled boxing media at a conference that began the promotion for the event that has been pencilled in for September 17, at a venue that will be confirmed on Monday but will most likely be in London.
DeGale’s competitive but unsuccessful attempt to unify his British super middleweight belt with George Groves’ Commonwealth strap two months ago is still playing on the 2008 Olympic gold medalist’s mind as he believes he did just enough to win [Editor's note - On The Beak scored the bout 114-114, for full report click here].
“I still think I won the fight against Groves, but that’s in the past and I’m moving onwards and upwards in my career and the European title is a major title I want to win.”
Indeed, a European title shot was something Groves had been hoping to secure, however, the versatile Hayemaker fighter has been pipped to the post by Warren and DeGale. Noting his upcoming adversaries qualities, DeGale (10-1-0, 8ko) remarked: ”Wilczewski is a tough and dangerous looking kid, he’s got a good record, he carries a high world ranking and I reckon he is a much better fighter than Groves.
“It’s a tough test and I’m looking forward to it. I want to be the best and I’ve got to get through this guy to prove it.”
Wilczewski, who is of Polish descent, commented: ”DeGale is a good strong fighter and he proved his class winning the Olympic gold medal. I’m not worried by coming to England to face him.
“I guarantee that there will be more fans cheering for me in the arena on the night than him because there are more Polish people in England than back in Poland!”