British boxer James DeGale hopes to avoid another ‘Embarrassing’ night when he faces Caleb Truax in a rematch at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday night. DeGale lost his IBF super middleweight title via points decision in London last December.
Speaking at the final press conference before Saturday’s rematch, DeGale said: “My last performance was horrendous. It was shocking and embarrassing. I’m not going to make excuses about my shoulder and what went wrong. On Saturday night, I will be a two-time world champion. I promise you that.
“I’ve boxed at the top level my whole life and put on some good performances. I know what was wrong with me and why I performed how I did in the first fight. I’m going to put it to rest when I become a world champion again.
“It’s been a long, difficult training camp. I had a gray cloud above my head the last couple of months, but I’m ready to go become a world champion again on Saturday.
DeGale added: “This time has turned me into a beast. I’ve had to take everything even more seriously than before. I might have gotten a bit complacent being a champion those last few years. I’ve locked myself down and I’m ready to go.
“I would say 90 percent of the loss was because of what I didn’t do. I looked past him. I came back too quick from the injury, but he still had to get in there and take my belt. There’s no disrespect to Caleb, but I’ve fought the very best of the division and come out on top. The real James DeGale will be back on Saturday.
“It’s going to be a dominant performance on Saturday. If I don’t beat Truax and beat him easily I can’t get to the level that I want. I know that’s what is coming. No excuses.”
Truax, for his part, is keen to prove last December’s 12 round points win over Degale was no fluke and plans to silence the doubters: “Training camp was perfect for this fight," said Truax: "This is the longest camp I’ve had in my career and the most focused I’ve been.
“I just want to go out there and silence people who said it was a fluke the first time I won. I want to prove that I belong at the top of the division. I’m going to put on a good show for the fans and retain my title.
“We’ve had four months to prepare for James DeGale. Normally I have six to eight weeks, so it was nice to have a drawn out and specific training camp. We really focused on the conditioning and making sure I’m reaching my peak.
“I’ve been through a lot in this sport. I’ve fought top guys in big fights but it finally came together last December. It meant a lot to me and now I’m prepared to put on an even better performance. I know DeGale is going to be hungry so I have to be ready for him.
“I had a great camp this fight. I knew we were going to have a rematch so I was right back in the gym in a couple of weeks. My trainer put together a great plan to help me improve and prepare for what DeGale is going to improve on. I’ll be ready for him to be 100 percent.
“I just want to get to Saturday night and put on another great performance to retain my belt. I’m going to give it my all to bring that belt back home to Minnesota.”