James DeGale explained to Ringside that he is on track for a world title

Last Updated: 21/12/12 10:21am

James DeGale told Ringside that hard graft in the gym is the reason behind his winning form.

The 2008 Olympic middleweight gold medallist slipped to a points defeat to bitter domestic rival George Groves in May of last year, but has won his four fights since, culminating in a triumph over Fulgencio Zuniga in December.

DeGale relinquished his European super-middleweight strap this week and believes that after a morale-boosting victory over Colombian Zuniga he is on the path to world gold.

"Professional boxing is totally different to the amateurs, so I have had to start afresh and work on my defence and being on the ropes."

James DeGale

"I have been in the gym with Jim McDonnell working on all different things," said the 26-year-old. "Professional boxing is totally different to the amateurs, so I have had to start afresh and work on my defence and being on the ropes.

"Zuniga was a good world-class opponent, who has been in with some great names; Tavoris Cloud didn't stop him and in his last fight he faced an unbeaten South African (in Thomas Oostuuizen).

"He has been there and done it and I was pretty impressed with the 12 rounds I did, so I am getting there and I am going to stay busy.

"The fights will come and I will be a world champion."

March on

Sky Sports pundit Jim Watt was also on the Ringside set on Thursday night and he reckons DeGale, 14-1 as a pro, is ready to mix it with the elite.

"James seemed to plateau for about a year," said the former world lightweight champion.

"He moved up to a level and then didn't seem like he was putting everything into his fights, but he is now established as the best in his weight in Europe and I am now fully confident he can march on."

DeGale's adversary Groves, meanwhile, saw off veteran Jamaican Glen Johnson at London's ExCel Arena last weekend - but the Harlesden-born puncher, who has won nine of his bouts via knockout, says he was not impressed.

"Johnson is a 50-year-old man (sic) who is shot to bits; you may as well hang him up by his feet and use him as a punching bag," added DeGale.

"There were rounds when he was throwing three or four punches. Groves beat him on points - but I would have made him look silly."

DeGale also believes he can give fellow Brit Carl Froch a stiff test if the two ever fight. Hit the the video above to find out why...