Super middleweight James DeGale (17-1, 11 KOs) vows undefeated Gevorg Khatchikian (20-0, 8 KOs) is “in big trouble” when they clash at the City Academy, Bristol, on March 1st. WBC Silver beltholder DeGale, defends his title against the former IBO Youth champion and is promising “an aggressive” performance when they meet in the ring. “I’ve heard Bristol people are passionate about their boxing, they’ve had a couple of good fighters over the years, so it should be good, I’m looking forward to it,” the 2008 Olympic champion, DeGale, said. “You’re going to see a lot more power, a lot more spite – an aggressive me and you’ll see a good finish – he’s (Khatchikian) in trouble, trust me.”
James meets Netherlands-based fighter Khatchikian ahead of his WBC sanctioned final eliminator against Mayweather Promotions fighter Badou Jack, for the mandatory position for Sakio Bika’s coveted WBC World super middleweight title.
With that contest in the private negotiation period and likely to be decided by purse bids on March 14th, DeGale headlines a show in Bristol that includes British bantamweight champion Lee Haskins and heavyweight Hughie Fury.
But Khatchikian will be looking to crash James’ plans of becoming Great Britain’s first Olympic and professional world champion.
The Netherlands man is in great shape and has had plenty of notice for the fight, but was contracted to take part in a routine six round contest last Saturday night.
Having successfully come through the fight and improving his record to 20-0, the former IBO Youth champion knows that victory over DeGale in Bristol will catapult him into the world mix and towards his own ambitions.
However, the man fondly known as ‘Chunky’, James, is adamant he isn’t overlooking his latest opponent and is raring to give an emphatic performance.
“I’m not looking too far passed him (Khatchikian), he’s unbeaten, he’s ambitious and he’s coming to win,” DeGale said.
“I’ve had a look at him on Youtube and he’s tough, he’s game, he likes to have a fight, he’s kind of fast – but the way I’m feeling now, I’m going to look to put on a wicked performance and prove that I am world class and I’m ready to box for the world title and win the world title.”
Also scheduled to fight on the show is a whole host of talent, including local Bristol fighters Dan Sarkozi, Lee Nutland, Ashley Lane and Dane Kelly, along with Gloucester’s Wayne Ingram and Weston Super-Mare’s Liam Hunt in his professional debut.