By Elliot Foster
Floyd Mayweather has started the ball rolling in a bid to sign James DeGale.
The Hammersmith man, now based in St Albans, retained his IBF super-middleweight world title as he battled to a majority draw with Badou Jack.
DeGale, who is now 23-1-1 with 14 early endings, was unable to claim the WBC strap owned by Swedish-born Jack as the pair met at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
And although Mayweather, who promotes Jack, didn’t agree with the decision –– two judges gave it level while one had it to DeGale –– and said that he would never do another show in New York because of it, he revealed that later this year he will attempt to lure DeGale to The Money Team.
“Do I want to sign James DeGale?” retired great Mayweather, 39, asked during the post-fight media briefing. “Abso-f***ing-lutely, I want to sign James DeGale.
“I like James DeGale and want to sign [the fighter]. What I’m going to do with him is I’m going to keep him over in the UK and make him big over there. We are ready to take him to the next level and he’s still one of the best fighters out there.”
The clash between DeGale and Jack –– for the number one spot in the 168-pound division –– in the Big Apple was the final fight on DeGale’s contract with Eddie Hearn & Matchroom Boxing.
The 30-year-old, who hasn’t fought in the UK since knocking out Marco Antonio Periban inside three rounds in Liverpool back in November 2014, is now promotionally a free agent and can sign with any promoter who tickles his pickle.
DeGale had two teeth knocked out, suffered the first knock down of his career in the final round of the fight and was forced to miss the post-fight presser as a result.
“Yes, we know you’re free and we want you,” was part of a message directed at DeGale by Mayweather in the aftermath. “We know you can make it.”
The 2008 Olympic gold medalist floored Jack in the first round but was unable to capitalise on the early breakthrough in order to force a stoppage or establish a significant lead.
But that did not stop Mayweather from eyeing him up, with an official approach expected before the summer after his Hearn deal expired.
“I have a tour coming up over in the UK and I’ll be over there,” added Mayweather. “Hopefully I can hang out with James DeGale, he’s a cool guy.”