DeGale to face Bozic at Bluewater
James DeGale will defend his WBC silver title against Croatian super-middleweight Stjepan Bozic at Bluewater on June 8.
DeGale, a 2008 Olympic gold medallist for Great Britain, won the interim belt by beating Fulgencio Zuniga last December, and made his first successful defence by knocking out Sebastien Demers two weeks ago.
And the Londoner will have to defend his interim title again, with Bozic booked for the fight at Glow, in the Kent retail and entertainment complex Bluewater.
“I’m excited to be boxing at Glow again, it was a tremendous atmosphere for my last fight and it’s a great venue to headline at,” DeGale said, referring to his last European title defence against Hadillah Mohoumadi in October 2012.
“This year is going to be a big year for me, I’m looking to be the first ever British Olympic gold medallist who goes on and wins a professional world title and I just want to show my fans and especially the British fight fans what I'm made of."
Interim belts – or ‘silver titles’ as the WBC calls them – arise when the defending champion is unable to stage a defence due to medical or legal reasons beyond his control.
In this case Andre Ward – widely regarded as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world – has been suffering from a serious shoulder injury and was forced to vacate his belts in April.
Once Ward returns to fitness he will have to beat the silver champ to regain his title – meaning that DeGale could feasibly have a world title shot later this year. Until that point, or the moment Ward is deemed unable to defend his titles, DeGale will hold the silver belt.
The 38-year-old Bozic, meanwhile, is a former WBA intercontinental champion but lost his world title challenge against Dimitri Sartison in 2009, his last major fight. He has since fought on the European circuit, and lost to former world champion Arthur Abraham in 2011.
DeGale still vowed to take the mandatory defence seriously, and hinted at a future challenge to the likes of Carl Froch or nemesis George Groves.
"I'm not overlooking anyone, whoever gets put in front of me I'm training for like it was a world title fight," DeGale added.
"I'm the WBC silver champion and ranked highly with the world governing bodies, I'm aiming to put on a great show and if either Froch or Groves feel ready for a domestic super fight I hope they realise that I'm ready for them too - let's get it on."
On the Hennessy Sports-promoted undercard will be Chris Eubank Junior, the son of the famous middleweight who is making waves as a young pro, Tyson Fury’s highly-rated cousin Hughie Fury and WBC international super-bantamweight champions Kid Galahad, a Qatari-born Yemeni-Brit from Sheffield whose background and accent have had some comparing him to Prince Naseem Hamed.