By Andrew Wake: 2008 Olympic gold medallist James DeGale had to come through some stormy moments to win the European super-middleweight title against tough Pole Piotr Wilczewski in Liverpool on Saturday night.
Judges scored it a majority decision by posting marks of 114 – 114 and 115-113 (twice).
It was a far from smooth performance for the boxer from Harlesden and he had to box largely on the back foot to get through the middle rounds after being rocked severely by a big right hand in the fifth session.
DeGale, 25, had started off quite well as he popped his jab out while switching between stances. And a massive uppercut towards the end of the second round almost made it an early night for the Englishman, but he slipped before he could land another telling blow.
Wilczewski, who defeated Amin Asikainen in his last outing, got back into in to things in the fourth when he connected with a pair of weighty right hooks and a session later he landed aforementioned right that shook DeGale down to his boots.
Things remain tough for the former Olympian down the stretch as well but he managed to put several rounds in the bag by boxing on the retreat and landing cute, if not damaging, shots.
A lot of people will look at the negatives of DeGale’s performance, and they’ll have a point. However, this was only the twelfth time he’s been in a pro ring so it is likely to prove a good learning experience for him.
If one thing is for sure DeGale is not yet ready to mix it at world level. Before tonight’s contest the Londoner had talked about fighting the likes of Mikkel Kessler, but it’s clear to see that he needs a few more bouts against domestic and European title level before he’ll be ready for a challenge of that magnitude.
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super middleweight Rocky Fielding w pts 6 Tommy Tolan
welterweight Ronnie Heffron w pts 6 Tony Pace
lightweight Craig Evans w pts 6 Ibrar Riyaz
light middleweight Liam Smith w ko 1 Gerard Healy
super middleweight Tobias Webb w pts 6 Jahmaine Smyle
super flyweight Paul Butler w ko 1 David Kanalas
October 15, 2011