• Super Middleweight

DeGale admits tinge of London 2012 regret

ESPN staff
August 15, 2012
James DeGale was crowned Olympic middleweight champion in Beijing © PA Photos

James DeGale admits watching London 2012 made him question whether he made the right decision to turn professional.

DeGale, the 2008 Olympic middleweight champion, watched on as Team GB bagged five medals in the ring - three of them gold.

While super-heavyweight gold medallist Anthony Joshua has suggested he may stay in the amateur ranks until beyond Rio 2016, DeGale turned professional soon after his return from Beijing.

DeGale, who defended his European super-middleweight title back in April, has failed in his initial promise to be a world champion before London 2012, but has adjusted his targets and has vowed to hold a global title inside four years.

"Even now I have a tinge of regret that I'm not up there defending my Olympic title," DeGale told The Independent. "To go to the Olympic Games was always my target, the only thing I ever talked about.

"Winning a gold medal really is life-changing. Our coach, Terry Edwards, said to me, 'If you win this gold medal, Chunk, your life's going to change and I don't think you understand that yet'. I didn't realise what was going on at home, just how big it was. Everything just blew up.

"But I've no real regrets about turning pro. Hey, I made my decision and I'm happy where I am. To be honest, I think I'm one of the handful of Olympic champions who've been fast-tracked after the Games and have achieved. I was British champion within nine fights.

"I've got one of the best coaches in the world in Jim McDonnell and he doesn't let me have too many days off. One thing's for sure. I'll be a world champion well before the next Olympics. That's a promise."

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