(Photo credit: Suzanne Teresa/Premier Boxing Champions) By Scott Gilfoid: It appears that James DeGale’s victory over Andre Dirrell (24-2, 16 KOs) has planted some ideas into his head because DeGale is now talking about being ready to take on any top super middleweight in the division.
DeGale might want to start with giving Dirrell a rematch because his victory over the American fighter left more questions than answers, and it’ll look bad if DeGale walks away from the fight as if he won the fight by a clear decision.
It definitely wasn’t a clear cut win in my view, and in the view of a lot of fans that witnessed the fight. DeGale won the vacant IBF 168lb title with his “win” over Dirrell. With the win, it now makes DeGale responsible for defending the strap. When you take Dirrell out of the equation, the IBF’s ranking is filled with fodder opposition.
DeGale looked awful tonight in totally running out of gas after the 4th round. Interestingly enough, the judges still gave DeGale rounds five and six even though Dirrell had turned the fight around by that point and was cruising. What was also interesting is that two of the judges gave DeGale the 12th round despite the fact that he ran the entire round. The scoring for the fight was nothing short of atrocious in my view.
A rematch with Dirrell would be a very good way for DeGale to prove that he’s ready to take on any of the top 168lb fighters in the division.
“I am world champ. I made history – the first British Olympic gold medallist to become world champion,” DeGale told Skysports.com. “I am back now and injury free. I will take on any super-middleweight in the world. I am hard to beat when I am at my best.”
It sure would be nice to see DeGale fight WBA super middleweight champion Andre Ward in a unification fight. I understand that DeGale’s promoter Eddie Hearn probably won’t bother aiming DeGale in the direction of Andre Dirrell ever again, but there’s no reason why DeGale can’t fight Ward, is there? I mean, if DeGale is serious about him being willing to fight any super middleweight in the division then that should mean that he’s willing to test his skills against Andre Ward. Of course, if DeGale was just mouthing off in order to hear himself speak and not serious about being willing to fight anyone in the division, then I could understand why he wouldn’t want to fight Ward.
“Let’s not forget he [Dirrell] is a very talented fighter. An Olympic bronze medallist, he is a very hard fighter to beat,” DeGale said. “But there’s no other super-middleweight that would beat me on my day.”
Of course there’s a super middleweight that can beat DeGale on his best day. We just saw it today with Dirrell doing it. Further, if DeGale is willing to test his theory about no one being able to best him on his best day then he needs to face Andre Ward in his next fight or perhaps Dirrell or his brother Anthony Dirrell. These are the best super middleweights in the division.