James DeGale has his eyes set on not just being the best boxer in the super middleweight division, but said he wants to be the best boxer in all of Great Britain.
DeGale spoke to ESPN and said him defeating Badou Jack next week should put him at the top of the list of British boxers, a list that includes world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, world featherweight champion Carl Frampton and world middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders.
"I would say it would make me No. 1, to unify the titles in New York, it doesn't get better than that," DeGale said. "It would make me top of the pile after becoming Olympic gold medallist, then becoming the first Olympic gold medallist form Britain to become a world champion and then making another bit of history by becoming the first super-middleweight who has gone across the pond and unified the division. Hopefully I will get the respect I deserve after beating Jack and people will realize what an achievement it is."
DeGale said he believes his career is similar to that of Joe Calzaghe, a former super middleweight world champion whose resume includes wins over Roy Jones Jr., Bernard Hopkins, Jeff Lacy, Chris Eubank and Peter Manfredo Jr.
"My career is a bit like Joe Calzaghe's, I'm in a similar position," DeGale said. "He had his career-defining fight against Jeff Lacy. He had been world champion for years by then, he had a lot of doubters and haters but he pulled it off. I'm in a similar situation and people will know that I'm the real No. 1 in the division and Britain after I beat Jack, just like Joe did when he beat Lacy."
Fightful will be doing live coverage at the Barclays Center for DeGale vs. Jack on January 14. That fight will be for the IBF, WBC and vacant The Ring super middleweight titles.