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DeGale hoping to make statement against Periban in Liverpool

| 10.10.2014

 You’d be forgiven for thinking James DeGale would be sitting patiently as the mandatory challenger for Carl Froch’s IBF Super Middleweight crown but you’d be wrong as the London fighter gets set for a significant test against Mexican Marco Antonio Periban.

The Olympic gold medallist will face the former world title challenger at the Echo Arena on November 22, on the Nathan Cleverly v Tony Bellew undercard, looking to make a statement before the possibility of facing Froch in the New Year.

DeGale, who beat Brandon Gonzales at Wembley last summer to become the number one challenger for the IBF strap, has been installed as the 1/8 favourite with the draw available at 25/1.

Periban is rated as a 5/1 shot for victory on Merseyside but his recent performances, albeit defeats, do not reflect those odds and the challenge DeGale is set to face.

“This is like a second final eliminator as if I don’t beat him, I don’t box for a world title,” said DeGale.

“It’s a good test, he took Sakio Bika close and he had J’Leon Love all over the place and should have finished him off. He’s not a typical Mexican, he can box on the back foot and he’s going to come to fight and that will bring out the best in me. I am looking forward to it, it’s on a great show so roll on November 22.”

Froch is still undecided as to what his next move will be after his victorious night at Wembley Stadium against George Groves last summer.

Talk of a fight in Las Vegas against Julio Chavez Jr has died down in recent months, while a possible third fight with Mikkel Kessler does not appeal to many fans after the comprehensive nature of the Cobra’s win in the second bout.

Apart from Froch retiring at the very top of his game, this leaves DeGale in pole position to fight the Nottingham star on January 31 at the O2 Arena and he will enhance his position even further if he puts in an impressive performance against Periban.

Froch is 2/5 with Ladbrokes to win any potential fight with DeGale, who is rated at 2/1 by the bookmaker to rip the WBA and IBF titles away from British rival.

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Oliver Yew