Image Credit: [ITV]
James DeGale announced his retirement after losing to Chris Eubank Jr. at the O2.
Chris Eubank Jr. bagged the biggest win of his seven year career so far on Saturday evening after a unanimous points decision made DeGale leave his career at London’s O2 Arena.
The fairly one-sided fight saw the 29-year old knock his opponent down twice in what was talked about as their ‘retirement fight’. The three judges on the day scored the fight 117-109, 115-112, 114-112, meaning the overall decision was unanimous.
Eubank was seen to knock DeGale down in the second round with a left hook followed by a strong right hand.
Following on from this, Eubank then continued to dominate virtually every round knocking DeGale down again in the 10th.
Saturday night’s win for Eubank takes his record to 28-2, with 21 of these wins being via knockout. This will no doubt put his name back into the forefront of the super middleweight division discussion.
In terms of what may come next for the winner, he may be expected to fight unbeaten Liverpudlian, Callum Smith, who holds the WBA title. However, nothing is ever easy in the politics that surrounds boxing, meaning that we may see him end up fighting one of a number of good American boxers.
Former IBF World Champion DeGale, from West London, followed through on his pre-fight pledge to “Walk away if he lost and consider retirement”.
He announced his retirement on the Thursday following his fight, saying “It’s hard to admit that I’m not the fighter I once was. I’m human and, along the way, my injuries have taken a toll – both on mind and body.”
Despite the hype surrounding Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury dominating recent headlines in the heavyweight division, with the possibility of Joshua becoming an undisputed champion, and the first to hold all four titles, DeGale leaves the sport as one of the most successful British boxers.
The transition from amateur to professional is not an easy one and his groundbreaking feat of being the first Brit to capture Gold at the Olympics and hold a professional world title is still lauded to this day. Others have followed since, including Joshua and Leeds’ very own Nicola Adams, but it is undeniable that DeGale was the first, and a trailblazer in British boxing.