James DeGale: 'I'd love to box alongside Luke Campbell'
NEWLY crowned WBC Silver champion James DeGale says he'd welcome the chance to fight in Hull once again. The 2008 Olympic champion and European super-middleweight title holder was the star attraction at the weekend, beating Felgencio Zuniga on points to win the WBC belt.
Greeted by a near capacity crowd at the Sports Arena, DeGale says he was overwhelmed by the reaction of the Hull public and praised the quality of the boxing on show from Hull's own rising stars.
"Hopefully my promoter Mick Hennessey will get me back up here again and put another show on in Hull because I really enjoyed it and the crowd were great," DeGale told the Mail.
"The atmosphere was great and hopefully we can do it again in the future.
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"There are some good boxers coming through in Hull, and in particular I thought Samir Mouneimne's fight was very good and he looked great.
"There are some real prospects, and hopefully Luke Campbell will turn professional too and I can come back up and be alongside them on a show in Hull."
DeGale stayed on course for a possible world title fight next year as the Londoner added another belt to his growing collection. Twice sending the aging but durable Zuniga to the canvas, he finally completed the job with a routine points victory.
Dominant from the first blow, DeGale found the Colombian in stubborn mood as he withstood a barrage of punches.
But controlling from the start, DeGale made Zuniga do the chasing and used his reach advantage to land the cleaner shots.
Showing the pedigree that brought him Olympic gold, DeGale's speed and accuracy was always going to be difficult for 35-year-old Zuniga.
And so it proved to be the case, with a convincing start soon turning fruitful as Zuniga was put down in the second round.
A former IBO world champion, Zuniga's 22 knock outs from his 25 career victories underlined the need for caution from DeGale, but the aging Colombian only showed in rare glimpses the standard that saw him contest world championship bouts at three different weights.
It was the power of 26-year-old DeGale that was decisive, although Zuniga held on for 12 rounds to leave the judges to settle the contest with a unanimous verdict.
"It was pretty tough. I had a couple of more gears, but I am glad I did the 12 rounds," added DeGale.
"He is a world class opponent, he's been in the ring with some great fighters and I think I dealt with him pretty easily.
"I was happy with the performance, but I am never fully happy. This time next year I want to be world champion."