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James DeGale to face Andre Dirrell in Boston on May 23

26
Mar
Olympic gold medalist James DeGale (left) poses with his promoter Eddie Hearn. Photo by Jordan Mansfield-Getty Images

Olympic gold medalist James DeGale (left) poses with his promoter Eddie Hearn. Photo by Jordan Mansfield-Getty Images

British star James DeGale (20-1, 14 knockouts) will face former world title challenger Andre Dirrell in Boston, Massachusetts, on May 23, in a bout which will be contested for the vacant IBF super middleweight championship.

The all southpaw collision will see DeGale, rated No. 4 by THE RING at 168 pounds, contest for his first world title belt after a five year professional learning curve. The 2008 Olympic gold medalist had hoped to lure Dirrell to the UK, but is undeterred by both the location and the challenge which lies ahead.

“Finally it’s here,” said DeGale, when interviewed by Sky Sports News in the UK. “Andre Dirrell is a very good opponent. He’s a tall tricky southpaw, like me, and while a lot of people say our styles will clash – I think they’ll gel.

“We’re both young, hungry and ambitious so it’s going to be a hard fight, but one that I’m very confident of winning.”

Dirrell (24-1, 16 knockouts) will be attempting to make it second time lucky following a 2009 split decision loss to Carl Froch in a WBC super middleweight title bout.

The American has won six fights since then and a neurological scare following his disqualification win over Arthur Abraham in 2010, and the subsequent 21 month layoff, is now firmly behind him.

The IBF title became vacant when Carl Froch decided against fulfilling a mandatory obligation against DeGale. Dirrell, who is rated No. 8 by THE RING at super middleweight, was the next available challenger and his team, Warrior Boxing, secured purse bids two weeks ago.

 

Tom Gray is a member of the British Boxing Writers’ Association and has contributed to various publications. Follow him on Twitter: @Tom_Gray_Boxing

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