DeGale To Defend IBF Belt Against Bute

By Elliot Foster (@FreelanceFoz)

James DeGale will make the first defence of his world title next month.

The Harlesden super middleweight is set to face former champ Lucian Bute on November 28 at the Videotron Center in Québec, Canada, with Sky Sports to air the fight in the UK.

DeGale made history in May when he captured the vacant title against Andre Dirrell, becoming the first Olympic gold medallist to win a professional world crown.

Bute, who was born in Romania but is based in the fight location, held the IBF title for five years before losing by devastating stoppage to Carl Froch in May, 2012.

Before he retired, Froch relinquished the belt, meaning that DeGale and the aforementioned Andre Dirrell clashed for it in Boston.

“I’m under no illusions about this fight but I’m also a massive believer in my own ability,” said DeGale, who can move to 22-1 with a victory against the 35-year-old.

“I consider it a massive privilege to be a world champion, fighting for Great Britain. I went on the road to win my title and my first defence is on away soil as well, but I’m very comfortable with fighting abroad.

“It is another challenge for me to overcome and in the future I can’t wait to defend my title in the United Kingdom.”

Bute, who has lost to Jean Pascal between two wins since his crushing defeat to Froch, has welcomed the opportunity to fight for his former belt again.

He said: “I am really happy to have this opportunity at this point of my career.

“I lost my title in England against an English fighter and now, I will box in Quebec against another English boxer, for the same title I defended for five years.

“I am really motivated by this opportunity the regain the title I lost in 2012.

“The fact that the fight will take place in front of my fans in Quebec City, where I never lost, will be the factor that will make the difference.

“I give all my respect to the champion James DeGale for accepting to travel for his first defence, but the IBF belt will stay in Quebec [on] November 28.”

Showtime will screen the clash in the States.

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