On this day in 2015: James DeGale wins IBF super-middleweight title

James DeGale made history by claiming the vacant IBF super-middleweight title with a thrilling unanimous decision victory over Andre Dirrell in Boston on this day nine years ago.

DeGale became the first person to win Olympic gold and a world crown in the professional ranks for Britain after withstanding a fierce comeback from his American opponent.

The Londoner appeared on course for a sensational early stoppage after dropping Dirrell twice in the second round, with the first knockdown coming from a brutal overhand left.

Dirrell weathered the storm in the early rounds as DeGale, who won middleweight gold at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, looked for the knockout and even came on strong in the second half of the fight.

But DeGale finished strongly and two judges scored the fight 114-112 in his favour, with the third of 117-109 seemingly a bit harsh on Dirrell.

After improving his record to 21-1 (14KOs), DeGale said: “I’ve finally done it. It’s an unbelievable feeling, I’m world champ. I made history.

“I will take on any super-middleweight in the world, I’m hard to beat when I’m at my best.

James Degale
James Degale won Olympic gold in Beijing (Andrew Milligan/PA).

DeGale held the title until 2017 when he lost it to Caleb Truax before regaining it in a rematch with the American the following year.

He retired from professional boxing after a defeat by Chris Eubank Jr in February 2019.

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