Punchlines: James DeGale out to impress against Fulgencio Zuniga
Last Updated: December 6, 2012 5:20am
James DeGale is promising a more dynamic display when he takes on Colombian Fulgencio Zuniga for the WBC silver super-middleweight title in Hull on Saturday.
DeGale, 26, admitted he was caught by too many punches sitting on the ropes during October's points win over Frenchman Hadillah Mohoumadi but has blamed a knee complaint on his lack of movement.
The 2008 Olympic gold medallist turned to England physio Gary Lewin to help resolve the problem since his last victory.
"I've been working with Gary Lewin for the past seven weeks and it has got a lot better," DeGale told Punchlines.
"He has been helping me with my exercises and hopefully we will see a different me on Saturday.
"I banged my knee on a small table and it chipped a bit off the bone. It meant I couldn't bend my knee properly which is why I was on the ropes so much in my last fight because my movement was restricted.
"It has affected me for my last two fights but I will have a lot more movement for my next one. I felt unstable and that's why I sat on the ropes so much in my last fight, because I was worried my knee was going to give way in the fight.
"It's 98 per cent right now and I've been working with the best physio in England which has enable me to do all my training really well this time."
Providing DeGale comes through unscathed and victorious on Saturday, he is then set for a quick return with a defence of his European crown against Italian Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye in Kent set for January 26.
"If you get cut you can't help it but that aside I want to box regularly and hopefully I will be OK to box again in January," he said.
"I feel I have a bit of catching up to do and it's great to have a busy schedule. It means I can't afford to slip up on Saturday and I've got my hands full because he's fought for the world title four times so is very experienced."
George Groves, who inflicted DeGale's only defeat by a narrow points decision last year, says his British rival is going backwards in his career.
Groves, 24, defends his Commonwealth super-middleweight title against former world title challenger Glen Johnson on December 15 and has been unimpressed with fellow Londoner DeGale since they met.
"Since fighting me I don't think James has impressed much and he looks like he has gone backwards," he said.
"He's a confidence fighter and I took all of his confidence away from him. He's not been busy because of contractual issues and his new promoter hasn't given him the right opponents. He hasn't really fought people who anyone has heard of. His next guy seems good on paper but he only took the fight at a week's notice."
British heavyweight rivals Tyson Fury and David Price are both expected to return to the ring in late February or early March after extending their unbeaten runs at the weekend.
Liverpool's domestic champion Price, 29, demolished Matt Skelton, 45, in two rounds on Friday and is expected to face American Tony Thompson, 41, on February 23. Thompson has twice been stopped by WBO-WBA-IBF world champion Wladimir Klitschko, the most recent coming in July.
Morecambe's former domestic king Fury, 24, boxed his way to a dominant points win over American Kevin Johnson, who went the distance with WBC champion Vitali Klitschko three years ago.
Klitschko, 41, is considering retirement and Fury's promoter Mick Hennessy is planning an interim fight while the Briton - now second in line to fight for the WBC title - waits to hear who will be fighting the WBC champion next, or whether he will dispute the vacant WBC belt with the winner of Chris Arreola (USA) against Bermane Stiverne (Canada), who meet on January 26.
"We would be looking at one more fight before Tyson fighting a Klitschko, either Vitali or Wladimir, Klitschko or the vacant title," said Hennessy.
"We are going to see what Vitali decides to do this month. If there's no decision and they drag it out, Tyson will box again in late February or early March, possibly making his American debut.
"Vitali or the vacant title is the fight we would like. Tyson has spoken about fighting Wladimir Klitschko but that's a stadium fight that would happen in the summer, and Tyson will fight before then."