Sam Horton. Picture by Phil Loach

STOURBRIDGE fighter Sam Horton says he is ready to rock the boxing world this Saturday night by beating Olympic champion James DeGale.

The pair meet at West Ham United’s Upton Park ground for the WBA international super-middleweight title with the Londoner the overwhelming bookies’ favourite.

But 24-year-old Horton believes he has the skills and the game plan to beat DeGale, who himself has confidently predicted an early stoppage.

Horton said: “It’s a massive opportunity for me, it’s one that I have got to grasp with both hands.

“I’ve got to stop him boxing to his game plan.

“His speciality is his finishing, he likes to get people in the corner and force a stoppage.

“I’ve got to get on top of him from the off and not let him control the fight.

“He keeps saying he is going to take me out in four rounds.

“I’m thinking that if I can take him past four rounds, what’s he going to be thinking then?”

Horton has lost only one of his 16 professional bouts but has struggled in his last two visits to the ring, which included a brutal second round knockout by Cello Renda last September and a scrappy win over journeyman Jamie Ambler in January.

But he says the prospect of facing DeGale has re-ignited his desire, a fact demonstrated by his decision to take five weeks off from his job as a bus driver to train for the fight.

He said: “I had let things slip, I wasn’t putting in the work I needed to.

“With the Ambler fight I arrived at the venue six pounds over the weight limit and had to skip it off.

“I needed this to get back my motivation and in the right frame of mind.

“When I wake up in the mornings the first thing I do is go out and run, I’m doing five hours in the gym a day and I’m feeling as fit as I have ever been.”

Horton expects to take around 70 supporters to east London though few others in the crowd will give him a chance of victory.

But if he does pull off the unexpected, Horton knows the chance to make a career out of the sport he loves will be within his grasp.

He explains: “There are only a handful of boxers in the world who can focus entirely on the sport, only a few who can make a living solely out of it.

“When I tell people I am a professional boxer they ask why I drive a bus too – but that’s the reality of life for most of us.

“This is my moment. The chance to fight someone highly rated around Britain and around the globe.

“The opportunity to box him is unbelievable. To beat him will be out of this world.” 

article courtesy of

A testimonial from professional boxer Sam “The Man” Horton who I have been working with on the mental side of his game in preparation for his fight against James Degale on Saturday 15th May at Upton Park. Nick Davies Sports Psychology & Hypnosis

DeGale ‘Horton will make me look great’

Jame DeGale will face the toughest test of his boxing career so far, when he fights part time bus driver Sam Horton for the WBA international title at Upton Park.
But the 24-year-old DeGale thinks his first ever 12-round contest will be over quickly.

DeGale said: “On paper, this is a good fight as he’s had 15 wins and only lost once., he is young, so he’s going to be ambitious, but he’s going to make me look great.”

“Sam’s going to get knocked out in four rounds and it’s definitely not going the distance. Obviously I’ve trained very, very hard to go 12 rounds but this ain’t going 12.”

“I’m going to start fast. The power’s coming on well now so I’m going to be quick and explosive.”

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