James DeGale outpoints Andre Dirrell, wins IBF super middleweight title
James DeGale scored two knockdowns en route to outpointing Andre Dirrell to earn the vacant IBF super middleweight title on Saturday in Boston. The 29-year-old London native, who dropped Dirrell twice in Round 2, won by scores of 117-109 (which was too wide in the opinion of most observers), 114-112, 114-112.
DeGale (21-1, 14 knockouts), who won a gold medal in the 2008 Olympics, was the aggressor during the first half of the bout, which was televised on NBC in the U.S., but Dirrell, a 31-year-old 2004 Olympic bronze medalist from Flint, Michigan, pressed the fight from Rounds 7 through 10. However, DeGale stepped it up in championship rounds and landed the harder punches in the final six minutes of the bout.
In earning the IBF belt vacated by Carl Froch, DeGale became the first British Olympic boxing gold medalist to win a major professional title.
A full report from Boston will be posted shortly.