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Page last updated at 12:14 GMT, Friday, 19 September 2008 13:14 UK

DeGale a future champ - Calzaghe

James DeGale
DeGale could stay amateur and defend his Olympic title in 2012

Joe Calzaghe has said Olympic middleweight gold medallist James DeGale could be a future world champion should the Briton turn professional.

But the Welshman, who will fight Roy Jones Jr at light-heavyweight on 8 November, warned that the 22-year-old still had a lot to learn in the sport.

Calzaghe told BBC Radio 5 Live: "He's a potential champion of the future.

"He's a good fighter, but being a top amateur doesn't necessarily mean you're going to be world champion."

DeGale has reportedly been offered 1m to turn professional, but the Hammersmith-born boxer has said he would also love to defend his Olympic title on home soil in 2012.

Calzaghe, who has vacated his WBC super-middleweight title to fight Jones Jr at Madison Square Garden, cited Audley Harrison as an example of Olympic gold not necessarily equating to success in the professional arena.

The Londoner has had little to cheer since he turned professional amid great fanfare in 2000 after striking gold at the Sydney Olympics.

But Calzaghe is not predicting DeGale to be hit by similar problems, saying: "I was quite impressed with him, he looked pretty good," added the Welshman, who has won all 45 of his fights, 32 by knock-out.

"He's still young so when he does turn pro he'll have plenty of time to improve and get into the sport."

see also
Calzaghe eyes final Garden test
14 Aug 08 |  Boxing
Calzaghe charms New York
17 Sep 08 |  Boxing
Superb DeGale lands boxing gold
23 Aug 08 |  Boxing
DeGale sparkles on way to final
22 Aug 08 |  Boxing
Briton DeGale wins boxing medal
20 Aug 08 |  Boxing

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