After suffering a shock upset defeat to Caleb Truax in December, James DeGale admits that his career hangs in the balance.
On Saturday night, DeGale aims to reclaim his old IBF World Super-Middleweight Title just four months since the loss to Truax in London.
"If I can't beat Caleb Truax in a rematch...if I can't beat him and look good, then I've got to call it a day. Or I've got to consider what I'm going to do," he revealed to FightHub last week.
In his first bout since recovering from shoulder surgery, DeGale was not himself and was edged on the scorecards but 'Chunky' believes this was just a blip.
"I've boxed at the highest level for the whole of my career. Caleb Truax is a gatekeeper for young prospects coming through. That's no disrespect to him, he's a solid fighter and he can mix it at the top level, but he never wins.
"I believe I'm the best, going by my last four, five fights. From knocking out [Marco Antonio] Periban, Brandon Gonzalez, Andre Dirrell, Lucien Bute in his backyard, Badou Jack - what a war. I've got a mad record, so if I can't beat him, I've got to consider what I do next."
DeGale was hoping that a routine win at the Copper Box would lead to lucrative unifications with the likes of old rival George Groves or David Benavidez in 2018, but disaster struck.
Now training as the challenger with the fire back in his belly, the 32-year-old is determined to silence the doubters who have been quick to criticise him since losing his belt.
"I've read some stupid sh*t the past couple of months. I've lived with a grey cloud above my head for the past four months," he admitted. "I've heard stuff like, 'He's a shot fighter' [and] 'Badou Jack took his soul'. Who's saying this sh*t? Badou Jack couldn't beat me with one arm.
"The past four months have been very testing. It's drove me mad because I'm a Champion - that's all I have been. I haven't been out of the gym, but my fourth defence of my World Title should've been now, [it] shouldn't have been in December. I rushed my injury, I promise you that."
Buy BoxNation to watch James DeGale's rematch with Caleb Truax, plus the Super-Welterweight unification between Erislandy Lara and Jarrett Hurd on April 7th in Las Vegas.