Boxing: DeGale hyped up for London clash

Hammersmith-born James DeGale makes his London homecoming on Saturday. The 2008 Olympic middleweight champion makes his long-awaited return to the capital a year after turning professional when he meets Matthew Barr in his sixth paid fight at Wembley Arena.

The 2008 Olympic middleweight champion makes his long-awaited capital bow a year after turning professional when he meets Matthew Barr in his sixth paid fight at Wembley Arena.



DeGale received a hostile reception after his debut in Birmingham last February but has since won over the majority of his critics with a string of slick and powerful performances.



And the 24-year-old Hammersmith fighter expects to pack even more of a punch after working closely with British champion Danny Williams and former English title-holder John McDermott.



DeGale told Press Association Sport: "I've had a lot of different sparring and strength work, I've been sparring two of the top five heavyweights in the country in Danny Williams and John McDermott.



"So I've been getting pushed around and stuff like that. It's good, I'm feeling dead strong, dead confident and can't wait for the fight."



DeGale insists he is not under added pressure following his failure to stop Nathan King in his last fight in December.



"Matthew Barr should be game and will want to win but it's not going to be good enough. I can't see it going six rounds at all," he continued.



"I don't really like making predictions but I'm going to try to get him out within three rounds, definitely.



"I don't really feel more pressure because against someone like Nathan King you need more than four rounds to stop them because he's a good, tough journeyman who has been around for ages.



"If you watch it, though, at the end of the fourth round he was tired, I was getting to him and I would have ended up stopping him if it was a six-round fight, definitely. I'm not a four-round fighter any more."

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