Arsenal Weekly: James DeGale exclusive

James DeGale
James DeGale at his pre-fight press conference

James DeGale says it would be a “dream” to box in front of a sell-out crowd at Emirates Stadium.

The lifelong Arsenal fan is defending his IBF super middleweight title against Lucien Bute on Saturday night, after holding his pre-fight press conference in the Diamond Club.

Saturday’s fight will take place at Quebec’s Centre Videotron, but DeGale revealed that his ambition is to one day fight at the Emirates.

“I had a massive fight last year at Wembley in front of 80,000 people but obviously I’m a die-hard Gooner from north-west London and it would be a dream come true if I defended my title here," he told the Arsenal Weekly podcast.

“Of course that would mean an Arsenal player would lead me out and if it was a past player, I would go with Dennis Bergkamp or Ian Wright.

“If was a present player I would either go with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain or Kieran Gibbs because I know his brother, Jaydon, pretty well. I’ve been out with the two of them a few times and have met the Arsenal boys on a couple of occasions.

“I’ve also met Hector. I really, really enjoyed teaching him to box and if you ask him I think he’ll say that he enjoyed it as well. He found out how hard the boxing training is and it’s really tough.

“Football fitness and training is totally different to boxing. In boxing we do a lot of strength training with lots of pulling, whereas footballers do a lot of agility and sprinting. Hector does 60m in a ridiculous time so he would leave me, but over 400m I would leave them."

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