Interview with The Sun - read it here ...
THE SUN - Gavin Glicksman's interview with me below (dated 22nd March 15):
James DeGale believes Andre Dirrell is running scared ahead of their collision for the vacant IBF world title.
Super-middleweight DeGale had hoped to face Dirrell on British soil after the bout went to purse bids.
But with Eddie Hearn's offer of $2.1million blown out of the water by a staggering $3.1m from Team Dirrell, Chunky has been left playing a waiting game while a date and venue is finalised.
And the Londoner believes the opposition camp's desire to have the fight held in the States proves Dirrell is desperate to claim any advantage possible.
He said: "I'm a threat to him. I'm an Olympic gold medallist boxing at a good level now, stopping and knocking out guys".
"Dirrell will have seen my last couple of fights and decided he wasn't willing to come over here, which is why he must have asked his adviser Al Haymon to get me out there".
"They bid extremely, extremely high - and I'm not moaning. It's my dream to go out to America and box for a world title on a big show, plus I'm getting paid. It's fantastic".
"A lot of good fighters have gone out there in recent years - including Kell Brook and Darren Barker - and won on points, so it does happen".
"But listen, I've got to go over there and rip the belt away from him. That's what it's all about".
"As my Trainer Jim McDonnell always drills into me, I've got to do what Lloyd Honeyghan did over there in 1986 when he ripped the world welterweight title from Don Curry".
Before Haymon flexed his muscle to ensure Dirrell home advantage, Hearn had been confident the title clash would take place at London's O2 Arena on April 25.
But DeGale, 29 insists rumours it will be held 24 hours earlier in Chicago, when Dirrell's brother Anthony is due to defend the WBC crown against Badou Jack, are wide of the mark.
He added: "I was under the impression it would be April 24, but I know that's not the case now".
"There's rumours of it being in New York or Vegas. Basically they've got until Tuesday to send over the contract and have it signed and sealed, so I'll know soon".
"It's going to be sometime in May, but I'm hoping it's not the end of that month as I've been in camp for so long now".
"I've been training hard for seven weeks as Eddie had April 25 booked. I've been working extremely hard and sparring with quality opposition, but obviously we lost the purse bid and things changed".
"If it does turn out to be the end of May , Jim will most probably give me a week off because I've been training for so long".
"You can never train too hard but you can end up not getting enough rest, so I may need that little bit of time off. Hopefully, touch wood, it will be sooner rather than later".
"I was surprised to hear we'd lost the purse bid, because a $2.1m bid for a vacant title is unheard of really".
"They bid $3.1m and that's a record for two boxers fighting for a vacant title - so I've made history already!"
"Haymon is a powerful man in boxing and he wants that IBF belt in America so he can work it with his fighters. That's why he bid so much".
Having stopped Brandon Gonzales inside four rounds and Marco Antonio Periban inside three in his last two outings, DeGale is flourishing as part of Hearn's Matchroom stable.
And he does not believe he will face the same Andre Dirrell that frustrated Carl Froch during a messy contest in Nottingham back in 2009, which saw the Cobra retain the WBC title via split decision.
Chunky said: "In his last couple of fights, Dirrell has been holding his feet a lot more and trying to get his opponent out of there".
"Whereas if you go back to when he fought Froch and Arthur Abraham, he was running around trying to nick fights".
"To be honest, I'm not too sure if someone's got in his ear and told him he's good enough to take guys out".
"But listen, when he gets in there he best be worried because I'm not letting this chance pass me by."