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Andre Dirrell vs. James DeGale final press conference quotes


Photos: Suzanne Teresa/Premier Boxing Champions

The final press conference for Saturday’s Premier Boxing Champions on NBC card took place today at historic Fenway Park in Boston. Andre Dirrell (24-1, 16 KOs) and James DeGale (20-1, 14 KOs) in a 12-round super middleweight showdown for the vacant IBF title at Boston’s Agganis Arena. Live televised coverage starts at 4:30 p.m. ET/1:30 p.m. PT.

Andre Dirrell: “A title means everything. It completes you as a fighter. That’s the top of the food chain in this sport, and that’s the pedestal we’re all trying to reach – world champion. Everybody wants to be a world champion. The greats had it and now we want it. It would mean more for my city, my family and my friends, and it’s something I’ll always be able to look back it. It would put me in the record books for life.

“DeGale is not quiet. Today he’s chilling, maybe because he’s a little out of his comfort zone. But there’s a lot of tension when you’re standing right there next to your opponent. He might just be a little cranky today. I like to lighten the mood and stay comfortable. This is all a part of the game. Let’s have fun now. It’s ass-kicking time when we get in that ring, but outside it’s all love.

“There was a time when I didn’t want to do interviews. I didn’t want to go to fights. I didn’t want to hear fans online and on social media. I closed all them down because I didn’t want to hear people ask, ‘When are you fighting again? Talking about talent wasted, or saying I’m glad he’s gone.’ It hurt because there was nothing I could do. I was powerless even with all the power in the world.”

James DeGale: “Andre says the belt doesn’t mean anything to him in the fight – well, the belt means everything to me and more. I am here to make history and it doesn’t happen without that title. I could win on Saturday night and retire a happy man – that’s how much I want to beat Andre Dirrell. But when I do win that title, I am going for the rest of the belts, creating a lasting legacy for my country, my fans and myself.

“Andre is a classy fighter and he showed in the press conference that he is a classy guy too – when two fighters who believe in their ability 100 percent and know they are going to win a fight, it is going to be explosive. There’s nothing but respect between us, but ultimately, we’re going to take each other to dark territory on Saturday night, it’s going to be a brutal battle – and one that I am going to win.”

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Lukie Ketelle

Lukie Ketelle