On this day in 2015: DeGale world title win secures British boxing history
James DeGale made history by claiming the vacant IBF super-middleweight title with a thrilling unanimous decision victory over Andre Dirrell in Boston eight years ago.
DeGale became the first person to win Olympic gold and a world crown in the professional ranks for Britain after withstanding a fierce comeback from the American.
The Londoner appeared on course for a sensational early stoppage after dropping Dirrell twice in the second round, with the first knockdown coming from a brutal overhand left.
Dirrell weathered the storm in the early rounds as Chunky, who won middleweight gold at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, looked for the knockout.
DeGale finished strongly and two judges scored the fight 114-112 in his favour, with the third of 117-109 seemingly a bit harsh on Dirrell.
After improving his record to 21-1 (14KOs), the Brit said: “I’ve finally done it. It’s an unbelievable feeling, I’m world champ. I made history!
“I will take on any super-middleweight in the world, I’m hard to beat when I’m at my best.
“Dirrell is a very, very good opponent, he’s very talented, he’s hard to beat.
“If anything, it’s me and him second and third in the rankings. Andre Ward’s there and there’s me and him. There’s no other super-middleweight that would beat me on my day.”
DeGale held the title until 2017 when he lost it to Caleb Truax before regaining it in a rematch with the American in Las Vegas the following year.
He retired from professional boxing after a defeat by Chris Eubank Jr in February 2019.