…as he targets “massive fights that will really leave a legacy”
In a move that has come as quite a surprise, James DeGale has vacated the IBF super-middleweight title he fought so hard to regain from Caleb Truax back in April. The British southpaw was upset by Truax last December and he was seemingly desperate to regain his title. Now, having done so, “Chunky” has dropped the belt.
Just a day before the scheduled purse bids for a fight with Jose Uzcategui, DeGale announced on social media how he was vacating the belt so as to go in search of “massive fights.”
“No world champion easily gives up their world title that they’ve earned the hard way in the ring and I’ve proudly held the IBF world title in two reigns with pride and distinction which is why it makes it very hard decision to relinquish the belt,” DeGale said today in a prepared statement. “I hope that by now vacating it will ease the transition to determine a successor between the interim champion Jose Uzcategui and the next highly ranked available contender. I’ve achieved so much in my career, Olympic Gold, British, European and International titles and two-time world champion and I believe I’m at the top of my game right now. I’m in the final phase of my career where I have a few good years left where I can be involved in massive fights and really leave a legacy in the division’s history. My team have been working very hard behind the scenes and we’ve got some very big and exciting news to announce soon.”
Of course we most now wait and see who DeGale may fight next, and just what the “very big and exciting news” is, but there are whispers that say DeGale will face Billy Joe Saunders on September 15. Unbeaten Saunders, the reigning WBO middleweight champion, is reportedly keen on moving up in weight to challenge DeGale. Also a possible plan for the future for DeGale, 24-2-1(14) is a fight with the winner of the WBSS 168 pound final between fellow Brits George Groves and Callum Smith.
If DeGale could defeat Saunders and Groves/or Smith, he would indeed add much to his legacy as one of British boxing’s best of recent years.