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DeGale-Sanavia: Can James handle Sanavia’s body attack?

James DeGale DeGale vs. SanaviaBy Scott Gilfoid: EBU super middleweight champion James DeGale (11-1, 8 KO’s) makes his first and what could be his only defense of his title against vicious body puncher/former WBC super middleweight champion Cristian Sanavia (45-5-1, 13 KO’s) on March 16th at the Wembley Arena, Wembley, London, UK.


DeGale, 25, took a royal beating in his last fight in winning the European Boxing Union title against champion Piotr Wilczewski last October in a controversial 12 round majority decision win. I thought DeGale deserved to lose that fight and it’s odd to see him with the title about to defend it. But then again Wilczewski was the visiting fighter and he’s probably lucky the fight was even scored that close.

DeGale may not get the benefit of a judges’ decision against Sanavia because he’s going to be bringing his own judges with him on March 16th with his two fists and his excellent body punching. DeGale hasn’t fought anyone that’s even close to being as good as Sanavia is when attacking the body and I’ll be surprised if DeGale will be able to hold up under the kind of body attack that Sanavia is going to be putting him under in this fight. I just hope DeGale doesn’t start running or fouling like fellow countryman Amir Khan did when he had to deal with a body puncher in Lamont Peterson last month.


Sanavia, 36, has won his last five fights since losing a pair of fights to Karo Murat in 2007 and 2008. Sanavian hasn’t fought anyone with any real talent since the Murat defeats, so it’s going to be a real challenge for him to be in with a decent fighter again after two years of soft opponents. Sanavia hasn’t knocked out anyone in two years but that doesn’t matter because he’s a body puncher and those knockouts can happen at any time. I’d be surprised if DeGale withstand this guy’s assault to the body.

This fight will be paired with British super middleweight champion George Grove vs. Kenny Anderson rematch. One could guess that promoter Frank Warren may be looking to interest boxing fans in a rematch between DeGale and Groves at some point in the future.

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