Boston: James DeGale became the first British fighter to win Olympic gold and a professional title, defeating Andre Dirrell yesterday to claim the vacant International Boxing Federation super middleweight crown.
James DeGale reacts after he was awarded the IBF super middleweight title defeating Andre Dirrell Pic/AFP,PTI
The 29-year-old Englishman knocked down the American twice in the second round, Dirrell having tasted the canvas only once before in his career, and won a unanimous decision by judges scores of 114-112, 114-112 and 117-109.
"I'm speechless. What can I say?" DeGale said. "My whole career, what I've been building to is winning the world title. It's a wonderful feeling. I'm world champ. I made history."
DeGale, who won the 2008 Beijing Olympic middleweight title, improved to 21-1 by winning the southpaw showdown in his US debut.
"I'm hard to beat when I'm at my best. I'll take on any super middleweight in the world. There's no other super middleweight who will beat me," said DeGale.