James DeGale vacates IBF super-middleweight world title

Ruben Hill
July 6, 2018

James DeGale has vacated his IBF super-middleweight title to allow him to focus on "securing the biggest fights" available to him.

The move, a shock for the solitary belt-holders legion of fans, is not the first time a champion has surrendered a title in order to chase big-money fights, but it has surprised many.

DeGale won the IBF title in 2015 by beating American Andre Dirrell in Boston.

He would also be a logical opponent for the victor of the upcoming World Boxing Super Series final between DeGale's arch-rival and fellow West Londoner, WBA super-middleweight champion George Groves, and challenger Callum Smith, or for domestic rival Chris Eubank Jnr.

The Jack fight was a unification showdown with the WBC and Ring titles on the line, but a controversial draw saw both men keep their titles. It was scheduled for noon Thursday at the IBF's headquarters in Springfield, New Jersey, but it was canceled Tuesday because DeGale gave up his title rather than moving forward with a fight against Uzcategui.

DeGale was due to face interim titlist Jose Uzcategui (27-2, 23 KOs), 27, of Venezuela, in a mandatory fight. It has been a pleasure to work with the IBF and I would like to thank president Daryl Peoples for allowing me to challenge and hold the distinguished belt that so numerous division's great champions have held before for me.

"My team have been working very hard and we've got some very big, exciting news to announce soon", said DeGale.

'This is the final phase of my career where I want to be in the biggest fights possible.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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