James DeGale

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James DeGale
DeGale in 2011
Real name James Frederick DeGale
Nickname(s) Chunky
Rated at Super-middleweight
Height 6 ft 0 in (183 cm)[1]
Reach 74 in (188 cm)
Born (1986-02-03) 3 February 1986 (age 31)[1]
Hammersmith, West London,
Stance Southpaw
Boxing record
Total fights 25
Wins 23
Wins by KO 14
Losses 1
Draws 1

James Frederick DeGale, MBE (born 3 February 1986) is a British professional boxer. He has held the IBF super-middleweight title since 2015, having previously held the British super-middleweight title from 2010 to 2011, and the European super-middleweight title from 2011 to 2012. As of May 2017, he is ranked as the world's best super-middleweight by The Ring magazine and the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, and third by BoxRec. As an amateur, DeGale represented Great Britain at the 2008 Olympics, winning a gold medal in the middleweight division. By later becoming IBF champion, he became the first British boxer ever to have won both an Olympic gold medal and a professional world title.


Born to a black Grenadian father and a white British mother, DeGale started amateur boxing at the Trojan club at the age of 10 before moving to Dale Youth boxing club.[2] As a boy he soon acquired the nickname "Chunky",[3] a name that has followed him throughout his career. The predominantly southpaw Londoner fights as a switch hitter. At the Commonwealth Games 2006 he won Bronze when he lost to Jarrod Fletcher.

DeGale has stated on numerous occasions that he is a big Arsenal fan and frequently fights with the Arsenal F.C. Club logo on his robe and shorts.

Amateur career[edit]

Amateur record: 79–16.

DeGale represented Great Britain at the 2008 Summer Olympics in the Middleweight boxing event, winning the gold medal. In the quarter finals he beat a former Olympic gold medalist from Athens (Bakhtiyar Artayev) and in the semi-final once again beat the late Irishman Darren Sutherland (prior to this latest meeting the boxers had fought five times with Sutherland winning four and DeGale only one). In the final DeGale won a scrappy and bad tempered affair against the Cuban Emilio Correa who was docked two points in the first round for biting DeGale's shoulder.[4]

World amateur championships results[edit]

2007 (as a middleweight)

Olympic results[edit]


Professional career[edit]

On 2 December 2008, he agreed a deal with promoter Frank Warren to become professional along with Frankie Gavin and Billy Joe Saunders. The contract agreed was rumoured to be worth around £1.5 million.[5]

DeGale was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2009 New Year Honours.[6]

Early career[edit]

On 28 February 2009 DeGale made his professional debut against Vepkhia Tchilaia, winning a points decision by 40–36. DeGale received a mixed reaction from the crowd, who booed him after being taken the distance by his little-known opponent. However, DeGale was also backed by others in attendance, as Tchilaia chose to box extremely defensively.[7] Five more victories followed before DeGale won his first regional championship, the WBA International super-middleweight title, stopping Sam Horton in five rounds. On 18 September 2010, DeGale made the first defence of his title against Carl Dilks, winning by stoppage near the end of the first round.

Frank Warren revealed that DeGale would challenge Paul Smith for the British super-middleweight title on Warren's blockbuster event in Liverpool, which was set for 11 December at the Echo Arena.[8] The bill included fellow Olympians Frankie Gavin and Billy Joe Saunders, as well as Nathan Cleverly and Kell Brook. DeGale went on to defeat Smith via ninth-round stoppage to become the British super-middlewight champion.

First loss and comeback[edit]

On 21 May 2011, DeGale suffered his first professional loss to fellow Dale Youth Boxing Club graduate George Groves, in what was seen as a very close fight. The judges scored the bout 115–115, 115–114, 115–114; a majority decision.[9] DeGale returned on 15 October 2011 to defeat Piotr Wilczewski by MD to win the European super-middleweight title. In February 2012, DeGale signed a sponsorship deal with Bulk Powders sport supplements.[10]

Signing with Matchroom Sport[edit]

On 10 April 2014, DeGale signed a promotional deal with Matchroom Sport. DeGale made his first appearance under Matchroom on the undercard of the Carl Froch and George Groves rematch at Wembley Stadium on 31 May 2014. He stopped opponent Brandon Gonzáles in the 4th round.

IBF super-middleweight champion[edit]

DeGale vs. Dirrell, Bute[edit]

On 23 May 2015, DeGale beat American boxer Andre Dirrell by unanimous decision (24-1, 16 KOs) to win the vacant IBF super-middleweight title.[11]

It was announced in mid-2015 that DeGale would take part in his first IBF super-middleweight title defence against Romanian fighter Lucian Bute. On 28 November 2015 in Quebec, Canada, DeGale defeated Bute via unanimous decision.[12]

DeGale vs. Medina[edit]

On April 30, 2016, DeGale outpointed mandatory challenger Rogelio 'Porky' Medina (36-6, 30 KOs) at the D.C Armory in Washington, D.C.. DeGale won on all three judges scorecards (117-111, 116-112 and 115-113).[13]

DeGale vs. Jack[edit]

Showtime Boxing confirmed that a unification fight between DeGale and WBC champion Badou Jack (20-1-2, 12 KOs) was set for January 14, 2017. The fight was supposed to be announced for the autumn of 2016, however it had taken a little longer for the negotiations to complete. The vacant The Ring title would also be at stake as well as the WBC and IBF titles.[14] On November 15, it was officially confirmed that the fight would take place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. The first time both fighters would be fighting at the arena.[15]

In front of a crowd of 10,128, DeGale retained his IBF title but failed to capture the WBC and vacant Ring title after the match ended in a majority draw. Judge Glenn Feldman scored it 114-112 for DeGale and judges Julie Lederman and Steve Weisfeld both scored it 113-113 draw. DeGale knocked Jack down once in round 1 with a left hand. DeGale also hit the canvas for the first time in his professional career when Jack knocked him down with a right hook to the head in round 12. DeGale lost a tooth during the fight and damaged his eardrum. Post-fight Jack's promoter Floyd Mayweather Jr, complained about the result saying his fighter had done enough to win and calling the decision "bad for boxing." When DeGale said he wanted a rematch possibly in London, Jack stated he would do it at light heavyweight, with Mayweather also saying Jack has gone too big for super-middleweight. DeGale's purse for the fight was $750,000, while Jack made $700,000. According to CompuBox, Jack landed 231 of 745 punches thrown, a connect rate of 31%, more than DeGale, who landed 172 of 617, connect rate of 28%.[16][17][18]

In March 2017, DeGale wrote to the IBF and was granted medical exemption, as he was due to fight a mandatory next. The exemption means he would next fight in Summer 2017.[19][20]

Professional boxing record[edit]

Professional record summary
25 fights 23 wins 1 loss
By knockout 14 0
By decision 9 1
Draws 1
No. Result Record Opponent Type Round, time Date Location Notes
25 Draw 23–1–1 Sweden Badou Jack MD 12 14 Jan 2017 United States Barclays Center, New York City, New York, US Retained IBF super-middleweight title;
For WBC and vacant The Ring super-middleweight titles
24 Win 23–1 Mexico Rogelio Medina UD 12 30 Apr 2016 United States DC Armory, Washington, DC, US Retained IBF super-middleweight title
23 Win 22–1 Romania Lucian Bute UD 12 28 Nov 2015 Canada Centre Vidéotron, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada Retained IBF super-middleweight title
22 Win 21–1 United States Andre Dirrell UD 12 23 May 2015 United States Agganis Arena, Boston, Massachusetts, US Won vacant IBF super-middleweight title
21 Win 20–1 Mexico Marco Antonio Peribán TKO 3 (12), 0:30 22 Nov 2014 United Kingdom Echo Arena, Liverpool, England
20 Win 19–1 United States Brandon Gonzáles TKO 4 (12), 1:58 31 May 2014 United Kingdom Wembley Stadium, London, England
19 Win 18–1 Armenia Gevorg Khatchikian TKO 11 (12), 2:58 1 Mar 2014 United Kingdom City Academy Sports Centre, Bristol, England Retained WBC Silver super-middleweight title
18 Win 17–1 United States Dyah Davis UD 12 16 Nov 2013 United Kingdom Bluewater, Stone, England Retained WBC Silver super-middleweight title
17 Win 16–1 Croatia Stjepan Božić RTD 4 (12), 3:00 8 Jun 2013 United Kingdom Bluewater, Stone, England Retained WBC Silver super-middleweight title
16 Win 15–1 Canada Sébastien Demers KO 2 (8), 1:58 17 May 2013 Canada Casino du Lac-Leamy, Gatineau, Quebec, Canada
15 Win 14–1 Colombia Fulgencio Zúñiga UD 12 8 Dec 2012 United Kingdom Sports Arena, Hull, England Won vacant WBC Silver super-middleweight title
14 Win 13–1 France Hadillah Mohoumadi UD 12 13 Oct 2012 United Kingdom Bluewater, Stone, England Retained European super-middleweight title
13 Win 12–1 Italy Cristian Sanavia TKO 4 (12), 2:58 21 Apr 2012 Denmark Arena Nord, Frederikshavn, Denmark Retained European super-middleweight title
12 Win 11–1 Poland Piotr Wilczewski MD 12 15 Oct 2011 United Kingdom Echo Arena, Liverpool, England Won European super-middleweight title
11 Loss 10–1 United Kingdom George Groves MD 12 21 May 2011 United Kingdom The O2 Arena, London, England Lost British super-middleweight title;
For Commonwealth super-middleweight title
10 Win 10–0 France Alpay Kobal TKO 5 (8), 1:37 12 Mar 2011 United Kingdom Braehead Arena, Glasgow, Scotland
9 Win 9–0 United Kingdom Paul Smith TKO 9 (12), 2:08 11 Dec 2010 United Kingdom Echo Arena, Liverpool, England Won British super-middleweight title
8 Win 8–0 United Kingdom Carl Dilks TKO 1 (10), 2:54 18 Sep 2010 United Kingdom LG Arena, Birmingham, England Retained WBA International super-middleweight title
7 Win 7–0 United Kingdom Sam Horton TKO 5 (12), 2:06 15 May 2010 United Kingdom Boleyn Ground, London, England Won vacant WBA International super-middleweight title
6 Win 6–0 United Kingdom Matthew Barr TKO 2 (6), 1:38 13 Feb 2010 United Kingdom Wembley Arena, London, England
5 Win 5–0 United Kingdom Nathan King PTS 4 5 Dec 2009 United Kingdom Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle, England
4 Win 4–0 United Kingdom Ally Morrison TKO 3 (6), 0:45 30 Oct 2009 United Kingdom Echo Arena, Liverpool, England
3 Win 3–0 Republic of Ireland Ciaran Healy TKO 1 (4), 2:59 18 Jul 2009 United Kingdom MEN Arena, Manchester, England
2 Win 2–0 Czech Republic Jindrich Kubin TKO 1 (4), 2:22 15 May 2009 United Kingdom Odyssey Arena, Belfast, Northern Ireland
1 Win 1–0 Georgia (country) Vepkhia Tchilaia PTS 4 28 Feb 2009 United Kingdom National Indoor Arena, Birmingham, England Professional debut


  1. ^ a b "James DeGale". teamgb.com. British Olympic Association. Retrieved 29 May 2015. 
  2. ^ Mathew,Syed."Dale Youth Boxing Club", The Times, 2005-10-07
  3. ^ "James DeGale Bio". British Olympic Association. August 2009. 
  4. ^ Superb DeGale lands boxing gold. BBC. 23 August 2008
  5. ^ Lewis, Ron. "James DeGale's dream of double gold ends", The Times, 2008-12-03
  6. ^ "No. 58929". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 2008. p. 15. 
  7. ^ "British trio make winning starts". BBC News. 1 March 2009. Retrieved 5 May 2010. 
  8. ^ "DeGale to face Smith in December". BBC. 2010-10-14. Retrieved 2016-08-12. 
  9. ^ "George Groves stuns James DeGale to win British title". BBC Boxing. May 21, 2011. Retrieved January 4, 2017. 
  10. ^ "BULK POWDERS™ and James DeGale Formalise Partnership - The Core™ - Guides on Protein, Supplements & Training - BULK POWDERS®". 20 March 2013. 
  11. ^ "James DeGale does early damage in win over Andre Dirrell". 
  12. ^ "DeGale beats Bute via UD". Sky Sports. 
  13. ^ "DeGale outpoints Medina, retains title". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2016-05-01. 
  14. ^ "Badou Jack vs. James DeGale Unification Set For January 14 - Boxing News". www.boxingscene.com. Retrieved 2016-10-31. 
  15. ^ "James DeGale and Badou Jack set to clash at Barclays Center in Brooklyn". Sky Sports. November 15, 2016. Retrieved November 15, 2016. 
  16. ^ "James DeGale v Badou Jack unification title fight ends in a majority draw in New York". BBC Sport. 2017-01-15. Retrieved 2017-01-15. 
  17. ^ "James DeGale-Badou Jack battle to majority draw - The Ring". The Ring. 2017-01-14. Retrieved 2017-01-15. 
  18. ^ "James DeGale-Badou Jack bout ends in draw". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2017-01-15. 
  19. ^ "DeGale out until summer as IBF may stage interim title fight at 168 - The Ring". The Ring. 2017-03-10. Retrieved 2017-03-13. 
  20. ^ "James DeGale Granted IBF Medical Exception, Return Delayed - Boxing News". www.boxingscene.com. Retrieved 2017-03-13. 

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Regional boxing titles
Title last held by
Paul Smith
WBA International super-middleweight champion
15 May 2010 – December 2012
Title next held by
J'Leon Love
Preceded by
Paul Smith
British super-middleweight champion
12 November 2010 – 21 May 2011
Succeeded by
George Groves
Preceded by
Piotr Wilczewski
European super-middleweight champion
15 October 2011 – 18 December 2012
Title next held by
Christopher Rebrassé
Title last held by
Adonis Stevenson
WBC Silver super-middleweight champion
8 December 2012 – September 2014
Title next held by
George Groves
World boxing titles
Title last held by
Carl Froch
IBF super-middleweight champion
23 May 2015 – present