Al Haymon‘s Premier Boxing Champions rolled into the great sports city of Boston, Massachusetts this Saturday, May 23, 2015 to bring New England fight fans the first big boxing card since Ricky Hatton fought Luis Collazo at the Boston Garden back in May 2006.
In the main event, England’s James “Chunky” DeGale (21-1-0, 14 KOs) defeated American Andre “The Matrix” Dirrell (24-2-0, 16 KOs) by unanimous decision in a close and exciting back-and-forth fight.
DeGale came out aggressive in the first round and established his counter left hand which would be his best weapon as the fight went on.
The second round saw the only two knockdowns in the fight when DeGale landed a hard counter left that floored Dirrell, who got up only to be knocked down again making it a crucial 10-7 round for DeGale.
Dirrell seemed to struggle to regain his legs over the next few rounds while DeGale continued to pursue as the aggressor, while finding a home for the left hand and doing great work out of the clinch.
It wasn’t until the fifth round that Dirrell looked like he had his bearings back when he turned the tide and controlled the mid-to-late rounds by being aggressive, while DeGale was content with lowering his punch output.
You got the feeling the fight was going to be decided in the championship rounds, and it was again DeGale who was able to land the harder and more effective shots in the 11th round, then finished strong in the 12th.
The three judges at ringside scored the bout 114-112, 114-112 and 117-109 for James DeGale who is now the IBF Super Middleweight champion.
After the fight James DeGale was quoted saying, “I am speechless. In my whole career, what I have been building up to is winning a world title and I have finally done it. It is an unbelievable feeling. I have made history, I am the first British Olympic gold medalist to become a world champion.”
“I am back now and injury free. I will take on any Super Middleweight in the world. There is no Super Middleweight in the world who will beat me. I am hard to beat when I am at my best. Lets not forget he is a very good opponent, very, very talented and hard to beat,” said DeGale about his win and his quality opponent, Dirrell.
“Andre Ward is top of the rankings and then there is me. I am super fit, feeling good and I am ready. I am IBF world champion,” DeGale concluded.