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July 04, 2018

DE GALE VACATES IBF TITLE RATHER THAN FACE UZCATEGUI

Press Release: Two-time IBF super middleweight champion James DeGale of England has relinquished his title as he closes in on securing big fights in the final phase of his career. DeGale, a former British and European Champion, has ended his second reign as champion totalling almost three years and six IBF championship contests. The Londoner is proud to have held the organizationís belt, one that has also been worn by many of the great fighters at 168 pounds including Joe Calzaghe and Roy Jones Jr.

DeGale began his first reign as IBF champion in May 2015 by making history to become Britainís first ever Olympic Champion to win a world title when he defeated Andre Dirrell in Boston to claim the vacant belt.

He then continued his campaign across the Atlantic to gain respect from the media and fansí as he made the first successful defence of the title against former IBF World Champion Lucian Bute in Canada in November that year.

In April 2016, DeGale returned to the U.S to make the second defence of the title against tough Mexican Rogelio Medina in Washington which he won on a majority decision.

DeGale then aimed to solidify his dominance of the 168 pound division by attempting to unify his IBF title against WBC World Champion Badou Jack in January 2017 in Brooklyn, New York.  In an electrifying, all-action fight, DeGale retained his title by way of a draw.

A British homecoming world title defence against American Caleb Truax in December 2017 was ruined after DeGale lost his title on a points decision in a below par performance.  He later admitted it was because he returned to the ring too soon after having career-saving surgery to his shoulder following the Jack fight.

However, DeGale proved his championís heart by facing Truax for the rematch in April this year in Las Vegas when he reclaimed the title with a dominant display to win clearly on the judgesí scorecards.

DeGale said, ďNo champion easily gives up their world title that theyíve earned the hard way in the ring and Iíve proudly held the IBF World title in two reigns with pride and distinction which is why it makes it very hard decision to relinquish the belt.  It has been a pleasure to work with the IBF and I would like to thank president Daryl Peoples for allowing me to challenge and hold the distinguished belt that so many of the divisionís great champions have held before for me.  It has been a honor to be recogniszd as the IBF World Champion and I hope that by now vacating it will ease the transition to determine a successor between the interim champion Jose Uzcategui and the next highly ranked available contender.  Iíve achieved so much in my career, Olympic Gold, British, European and International titles and two-time World Champion and I believe Iím at the top of my game right now.  Iím in the final phase of my career where I have a few good years left where I can be involved in massive fights and really leave a legacy in the divisionís history.  My team have been working very hard behind the scenes and weíve got some very big and exciting news to announce soon.Ē



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