IBF super middleweight champion James DeGale (21-1, 14 KOs) will defend his title against former champion Lucian Bute (32-2, 25 KOs) on November 28 at the Videotron Center in Quebec, Canada.
DeGale became the first Briton Olympic gold medalist to win a world title when he outpointed Andre Dirrell for the vacant belt in Boston last May. And now the 29 year old must travel again for his first defence when he faces Bute, who held the IBF title for five years before losing to Carl Froch in May 2012 via a devastating TKO.
“Bute is a world class, elite-level fighter, who kept his world title for five years,” said DeGale. “Anyone who can do that deserves some serious respect. I’m the champion and he will be very fired up trying to win back his old title, but I’m too young, too fast, and too skillful to let that happen.
“My trainer Jim McDonnell has always said getting the world title is hard, but keeping it is even harder. I’m under no illusions about this fight, but I’m also a massive believer in my own ability and I aim to show who the best super middleweight in the world is on November 28.
“I consider it a massive privilege to be fighting for Great Britain as a world champion,” said DeGale. “I’m very comfortable with fighting abroad. It is another challenge for me to overcome and in the future I can’t wait to defend my title in the United Kingdom.
“I’m lucky enough to have boxed in Canada when I took on Sebastien Demers in Quebec in 2013. I met some great people out there, it is a lovely country and I can’t wait to get back. I beat Demers in a couple of rounds and I’d take the same result again.
“Whatever happens, however I win, I’m coming back with my belt.”
But Romanian-born Canadian-based Bute, 35, is confident he can regain the crown.
“’I am really happy to have this opportunity at this point of my career,” said Bute. “I lost my title in England against an English fighter and now, I will box in Quebec against another English boxer, for the same title I defended for five years. I am really motivated to regain the title I lost in 2012.
“The fact that the fight will take place in front of my fans in Quebec City, where I never lost, will be the factor that will make the difference. I give all my respect to the champion James DeGale for accepting to travel for his first defense, but the IBF belt will stay in Quebec November 28.”