The former Swindon Town boss, who has been at the centre of controversy with regards to his political views, believes that he can spur his new players on to avoid the drop from the Premier League.
"When I got the call from [chairman] Ellis Short, I felt fire in my belly," Di Canio said in a press conference. "I would have swam to Sunderland to take the job.
"With my energy I'm sure we can get something from the next seven games. I hope my ways will give the team more confidence on the pitch.
"The press like to call me the mad Italian, but I would confidently bet everything I have on Sunderland remaining in the top flight."
The Black Cats are just one point above the relegation zone in the table.