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James DeGale set to return from injury on Dec. 9, to share card with Lee Selby

Photo by Ed Diller/ DiBella Entertainment

The top super middleweight in the world is on the comeback trail.

James DeGale injured his right shoulder during training for the Badou Jack title unification bout in January and then underwent surgery in June. Now, he’s ready to fight again and will return with an IBF title defense December 9 in London. Lee Selby will defend his IBF featherweight title defense in the co-feature.

There are no opponents for either champ, so DeGale will likely face a soft opponent to get his feet wet following the injury. Selby, too, will probably be in a tune-up bout since he has a mandatory defense looming against Josh Warrington next year.

And with the World Boxing Super Series ongoing, the prospects for DeGale are dim at 168 pounds for the immediate future. Jack has since moved up to 175 pounds. Top 168-pound Brits like Callum Smith, Chris Eubank Jr. and George Groves are all tied up with semifinal bouts in the WBSS.

“To be defending my world title in my home city is a dream come true,” said DeGale (23-1-1, 14 knockouts), who drew with Jack and was dropped in the final round of a grueling bout. “I have made my name as a road warrior but now it is time to remind everyone at home who the best super middleweight in the world is.

“I haven’t showcased my skills in the UK since 2014 and I’m looking forward to putting on a memorable performance for the people of London. … I’m back in full training and feeling fit and ready to go on December 9. Fans can look forward to an explosive performance, I’m itching to get under those bright lights again!”

DeGale won the title with a decision victory over Andre Dirrell in 2015, and has since defended his title three times. For Selby, this will be the second defense of his 126-pound strap. The Brit turned back the challenge of Jonathan Victor Barros in July with a unanimous decision win and a knockdown in the final round.

“I can’t wait to return to the ring on a huge night of boxing,” said Selby (25-1, 9 KOs). “There’s some terrific fighters featuring on the bill but I’ll be stealing the show and ending 2017 in style.

“I will definitely be fighting my mandatory challenger Josh Warrington after I come through this fight. To me he is just another opponent, but I think he’s got emotionally attached to me. “I will give him an educated lesson and then move on!”