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Sunday 24th May 2015 - James DeGale wins IBF title with unanimous decision over Andre Dirrell  

James DeGale made history by claiming the vacant IBF super-middleweight title with a thrilling unanimous decision over Andre Dirrell in Boston. The Londoner has become the first Briton to win Olympic gold and a world crown in the professional ranks after withstanding a fierce comeback from his American opponent. It was a thrilling victory for the 29-year-old, who claims he is now second only to the unbeaten Andre Ward in the super-middleweight division. After improving his record to 21-1, with 14 knockouts, DeGale said on Sky Sports 1: I've finally done it. It's an unbelievable feeling, I'm world champ. I made history. I will take on any super-middleweight in the world. I'm hard to beat when I'm at my best. Dirrell is a very good opponent. He's very talented. He's hard to beat. If anything it's me and him second and third in the rankings. Andre Ward's there and there's me and him. DeGale went on the attack in the first round and one of his flurries opened up a cut on Dirrell's forehead. Dirrell landed a hard shot in the second and looked to be controlling the round until DeGale landed a brutal left to the chin that had the 31-year-old on the canvas. Dirrell beat the count, but was clearly shaken, and he was on the floor seconds later as DeGale went in for the kill. However, the American survived the round and spent much of the next two trying to avoid DeGale's left hand, although he was left hanging on again late in the third after one found its mark. Dirrell had some success when he switched from southpaw to an orthodox stance in the fourth and fifth rounds but received more heavy shots and another cut was opened below his left eye. In the seventh, DeGale started to slow and Dirrell started to land some effective combinations of his own and knocked the tiring Briton back on his heels with a solid straight right. But DeGale, Olympic middleweight champion in 2008, found a second wind in the 11th and finished strongly in the 12th, doing enough to convince the ringside judges...| judge: Daniel Fitzgerald 114-112 | judge: Alan Davis 117-109 | judge: Howard John Foster 114-112 DeGale's victory could lead to a rematch with bitter domestic rival George Groves, who is set to fight Sweden's Badou Jack for the WBC title later this year.

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