Monday, March 20, 2023  |



DeGale out until summer as IBF may stage interim title fight at 168

Photo by Ed Diller/ DiBella Entertainment

Super middleweight titleholder James DeGale won’t fight again until at least July after he was granted a medical exemption by the IBF following his grueling draw with Badou Jack and the IBF may hold a bout for an interim title in the meantime, has learned.

“James DeGale just applied for a medical exemption,” IBF Championships Chairman Lindsey Tucker told RING on Friday. “He was due to be notified of his mandatory back in November of last year but he got cleared to do the unification (in January), which takes priority over the mandatory. But now, we want him to do his mandatory. But unfortunately, he’s suffered some injuries and the doctor’s note we got said he will be out until July.”

The IBF is contemplating whether to allow No. 1 rated Jose Uzcategui and No. 3 Andre Dirrell to fight for an interim belt since DeGale will be off until the summer. “We’re considering an interim title with the next two guys,” Tucker said. “We may. When the champion is out with a medical extension, that’s the only time we do the interim title.” DeGale suffered multiple injuries in the fight with Jack. He told Sky Sports he had an operation on his nose and was also dealing with a shoulder injury. He also reportedly had a ruptured eardrum.