The current European super middleweight champion, DeGale, meets the former IBO world champion Zúñiga for the WBC Silver title this weekend.
“I’ve got to use my feet a lot more than I did in my last fight; I was on the ropes for far too long, but this time I’m going to use my boxing skills, use my feet and box nicely,” DeGale said.
“I’m going to show the fans how well I can box and put on a good, good performance.”
After almost six months of inactivity, DeGale managed to overcome Hadillah Mohoumadi to claim unanimous points win in his last contest in October and he is aiming to build on that performance this weekend.
“It felt really good to get boxing again, obviously I had a frustrating year with everything that happened and being so inactive, so it felt good to get in the ring, get a good win and defend my title,” DeGale said.
“It wasn’t a vintage James DeGale performance. It was an ok performance but the main thing was that I got the win.
“It shakes off the ring rust, I did a good 12 rounder at a good pace; it’s a learning fight, so I need to be busy and to keep active because it’s all about learning your trade and that’s what I’m doing.
However in Columbian Zúñiga, DeGale is certainly not in for an easy night.
The 35-year-old has been fighting at world level for the last five years and brings a wealth of experience to the table, having challenged the likes of Tavoris Cloud, Lucian Bute and most recently Thomas Oosthuizen.
“He’s a good fighter and he’s got some good power and experience as well, so I’ve got to be switched on with him,” DeGale said.
“I’m expecting a hard tough fight, he’s very durable, he’s got a lot of power and experience, but I’m looking forward to the challenge.
“This guy has been in with some world champions; former world champions, reigning world champions, and he’s pushed them and gone the full 12 rounds with them, so if I put in a good performance here there’s no doubt I’ll send a message that says; ‘Yeah he’s back and he’s ready to take on anyone’.”
This will be DeGale’s second fight since signing with Mick Hennessy and he hopes to keep busy and push towards a world title next year.
“By the time I have this fight and the one in January; that’s three fights in four months, so I couldn’t really ask for more than that,” DeGale said.
“It’s taken a lot of weight off of my shoulders, I can think properly now without having to worry about when I’m next boxing or anything else outside the ring, that’s over now, so I’m ready for Saturday now and I’m just looking forward to the future with Hennessy Sports and Channel 5.
“Next year is going to be a big year, I want to be busy and I’m making them strides towards a world title.
“Within the next 12 months I want to be boxing for a world title, sometimes when fights are offered to you, you have to strike and take them, but if something comes up before that and I feel I have to take it, I’ll take it.”
The pair meet at Hull’s Sports Arena live on Channel 5 from 10.00pm on Saturday.
The action packed undercard will feature Hull’s Samir Mouneimne Jr who will be challenging the Scottish Area super featherweight champion David Savage over 10 rounds in a British Featherweight Title Eliminator and Hull based fighters, Ricky Dudding, Nathon Smith, Joel Haigh , Goole’s Zac Collins, Lee Wood from Nottingham and Jordon Gill from Chatteris.