DeGale destroys Sanavia; Nielsen stops Vega

By James Slater: Tonight in Denmark, 26-year-old European super-middleweight champ James DeGale scored a relatively straightforward 4th-round stoppage over Italy’s former WBC and Euro 168-pound ruler Christian Sanavia.

“Chunky,” as DeGale is known, scored three hurtful knockdowns in the 4th, the final knockdown prompting the ref to wave the fight off. The official time was 2-minutes and 58 seconds of the 4th. DeGale is now 12-1(9). 37-year-old Sanavia, past his best, falls to 45-6-1(13).

The opening three rounds were interesting, with some decent action. Sanavia, a southpaw like DeGale, pressed the action as best he could, forcing the 2008 Olympic gold medallist on the back foot and onto the ropes at times, and the Italian had some success with his left hand. DeGale was boxing smoothly, however, and he appeared totally relaxed and in control.

Then, after having been clipped with a shot in the 3rd, the younger man by almost a decade stepped it up in the next session. A left uppercut decked Sanavia, who went down awkwardly. Soon put down for a second time, the former champ was near the end and he knew it. The final, fight-ending knockdown combo from DeGale comprised of a left to the jaw followed by two hard shots to the body.

DeGale looked very good tonight, scoring his first stoppage in over a year. Now two wins removed from his disappointing loss to archrival George Groves, DeGale made a first successful defence of his European belt. Interestingly, DeGale was offered the chance to face WBO champ Robert Stieglitz at short notice (after Groves pulled out with a damaged nose); but DeGale turned down the May 5th offer, saying he had worked too hard to face a southpaw.

On the showing he gave tonight, DeGale may well have been capable of pulling off the upset had he taken the tempting offer. DeGale’s time as a world title challenger cannot be all that far off, however.

In other fights on the card:

Simen Smaadal TKO 1 Pavel Staravoitau
Andreas Evensen MD 12 Willie Casey
Reda Zam Zam TKO 5 Bronislav Kubin
Erik Skoglund KO 2 Alberto Antenucci
Patrick Nielsen TKO 10 Gaston Alejandro Vega

Article posted on 22.04.2012

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