James DeGale’s first shot at a world title against Andre Dirrell will be shown live on Sky Sports in May.
The 29-year-old Londoner will challenge Dirrell for the vacant IBF super-middleweight title at the Agganis Arena in Boston on May 23, with DeGale hoping to make history by becoming the first British Olympic gold medal winner to win a world title.
Victory over Dirrell on American soil would pave the way for major fights in the future and DeGale insists he would set his sights higher than domestic rivals Carl Froch and George Groves.
“When I win my world title on May 23 it will open all kinds of doors,” he told Sky Sports News HQ. “Fights with Carl Froch, if he wants to fight me? There is George Groves, if he wants to fight me?
“But there are bigger fights than them out there, trust me. There are unification fights. There is Andre Ward, Arthur Abraham. After I win the world title that’s what I want to do. I want to be in big fights with the big names and the big titles.”
DeGale is not daunted by the prospect of fighting on unfamiliar territory and is confident he will return with the title.
“My time is here and I am going to be crowned the IBF world champion,” he said. “Travelling doesn’t worry me – I like it.
“As an amateur I travelled all over the world and came home with medals, especially at the Olympics, so when the pressure is on and I am a little nervous, that’s when I come into my own, I relish it.”
DeGale’s world title fight will be shown live on Saturday night prime time for UK viewers, with the super-middleweight’s vacant IBF showdown with Dirrell set to commence at 9.30pm BST.
Sky Sports’ coverage begins at 8.00pm to begin the build-up on a night when DeGale can make history by becoming the first British boxer to win an Olympic gold medal and a world title.
“It’s peak time, live on Sky Sports, so make sure you all tune in and watch me make history,” added DeGale.
DeGale takes on Dirrell at the Aggonis Arena in Boston and is expected to be the first live fight, the perfect opportunity with the eyes of America watching on national television.
Johnny Nelson presents Sky Sports 1’s live coverage, which will have former IBF champion Carl Froch – who beat Dirrell in 2009 – and Glenn McCrory in the studio.