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Page last updated at 14:34 GMT, Friday, 26 June 2009 15:34 UK

DeGale to train with Mayweather

James DeGale
DeGale is excited at the prospect of facing one of his heroes

British middleweight James DeGale is set to train and spar with undefeated five-division champion Floyd Mayweather Jr at the end of July.

DeGale, who won Olympic gold in 2008, will first meet Irishman Ciaran Healey at Manchester's MEN Arena on 18 July in his third professional bout.

"We have an option to train with Mayweather in Vegas," said DeGale.

"To be in the gym with Floyd will be unbelievable. Floyd is one of my favourite fighters ever."

DeGale and his trainer Jim McDonnell met Mayweather during the American's public workout in London last month when the idea was agreed.

"He's a boxer who can dig deep when he needs to. Mayweather is a proper showman - I love his attitude. He has all the skills," added the 23-year-old.

"If I'm half the fighter he is, I'll be cool."


McDonnell believes sparring with top Americans such as Mayweather will accelerate DeGale's progress through the professional ranks.

"We're going to use the summer vacation as part of James' learning curve. All we've go to do with Mayweather is finalise the details," he said.

"We also have an option to train with Ronald 'Winky' Wright in Miami and Jermain Taylor at Gleason's Gym in New York.

"We want James to train and spar with world champions."

Ashes stars in the ring with DeGale

DeGale also took time out to spar with England cricketers Kevin Pietersen, Andrew Strauss and Paul Collingwood.

Mayweather Jr was due to fight lightweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez on 18 July but that has been postponed after the American suffered a rib injury in training.

It would have been Mayweather Jr's comeback fight from retirement which followed his win against Briton Ricky Hatton in their welterweight bout in December 2007.

see also
Ferocious DeGale impresses in win
15 May 09 |  Boxing
From cheers to jeers for DeGale
01 Mar 09 |  Boxing
Mayweather comeback bout on hold
14 Jun 09 |  Boxing
Mayweather to make boxing return
02 May 09 |  Boxing
British trio make winning starts
01 Mar 09 |  Boxing
Boxer DeGale weighs up pro career
06 Oct 08 |  Olympics

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