21.02.2019 by

James DeGale Says Steroids Especially Rampant in American Boxing

James DeGale Says Steroids Especially Rampant in American Boxing

Steroid use is ‘crazy’ in the United States according to the former super-middleweight boxing champion from England.

James DeGale, a gold medalist at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and two-time IFB super-middleweight boxing world champion, recently claimed that the use of anabolic steroids is widespread in the sport of professional boxing.

DeGale shared his thoughts on steroids in boxing during an appearance on the London-based sports radio station TalkSPORT on February 5, 2019. He singled out the United States as the country with the biggest steroid problem in boxing.

“Believe it or not, performance-enhancing drugs is rife in the sport,” DeGale said. “There’s so many people over the last couple of years that have been done. Trust me, it’s rife in America, in America it’s mad, it’s crazy.”

James DeGale learned about American steroid use from Paulie Malignaggi.

DeGale seemed to base his knowledge of steroid use in America on the stories told to him by his trainer Paulie “Magic Man” Malignaggi from New York City. DeGale directly credited Malignaggi as the primary source for his insight on American steroid use.

“I speak to Paulie Malignaggi, he’s part of my team now,” DeGale said. “When I sit down and speak to him it’s mind-boggling, some of the stuff he knows, some of the stuff he tells you and some of the stories he knows. It’s so interesting.”

DeGale started working with Malignaggi in March 2018. Malignaggi reportedly quit his job as an award-winning boxing commentator for Showtime so that he could work with DeGale.

Malignaggi was a professional boxer for 16 years prior to working as a boxing commentator and trainer. During the course of his career, Malignaggi was a world champion in the light-welterweight and welterweight weight classes with the IFB and WBA, respectively.

DeGale advocated a lifetime ban from the sport for any boxer caught using anabolic steroids. DeGale joins fellow British boxers like Tony Bellew who think steroid use makes boxing too dangerous.

“You should be banned for life,” DeGale said. “If you get found out, you should be banned for life. It’s dangerous man, boxing’s a dangerous sport already. So when you’re putting stuff in your body that’s making you stronger, more powerful, hit harder, train harder, it’s crazy stuff.”

Of course, boxing is inherently a dangerous sport that in which head trauma is often one of the main objectives. It is somewhat disingenuous to demonize factors that make athletes better boxers.

At any rate, steroids alone don’t really make anyone much stronger. If the concern is restricting things that make boxers stronger and more powerful, perhaps DeGale should call for a ban of weight training.


Barry, C. (February 5, 2019). James DeGale insists doping is rife in boxing. Retrieved from

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