• James DeGale v Piotr Wilczewski

DeGale battles to win over Wilczewski

ESPN staff
October 15, 2011
Piotr Wilczewski catches James DeGale © PA Photos

James DeGale had to dig deep into his reserves to get his career back on track with a battling win over Piotr Wilczewski to claim the EBU super-middleweight title.

DeGale was thrust straight into a title fight on the back of his defeat to George Groves and it proved a real war for the Londoner who took some powerful shots before prevailing on points.

DeGale was marked early, with Wilczewski finding his range with the right hand. DeGale was content to work the ring as his Polish opponent kept coming forward and he landed a big uppercut in the second.

Wilczewski is a dangerous operator and he rocked DeGale with a snapping right hand that opened up a cut above the right eye. Things got worse for DeGale in the fifth, as a huge right turned his legs to jelly and he had to cling on for the final 30 seconds to avoid being put on the canvas.

To DeGale's credit, he upped his workrate in the sixth and seventh to get himself back in the fight. He had to prove his chin again when taking a stiff shot in the eighth, but came back with a big uppercut which slowed Wilczewski.

Wilczewski looked a spent force in the ninth, but was not prepared to let his title go without a fight and the pair fired up the crowd by trading shots in the past couple of rounds. The contest went to the judges following a real war in the 12th - with DeGale prevailing by way of a majority decision:114-114, 113-115, 113-115.

"It is about time and I am back on top and hopefully some doors will open," DeGale told BoxNation. "I've just beaten a tough seasoned pro, so I am pleased. I got caught in the fourth round and after that I could not hear, my legs went a bit, but I got through it and showed some grit. So I am pleased.

"I have got a world ranking now, I am No. 2 by the WBO, so doors should open now. It is good experience, he is a good fighter and I have learned a lot. I have won the British and European title within12 fights, fantastic.

"I want to defend this a couple of times and by the next Olympics I want to be fighting for a world title. That's been the plan since I turned pro and is what I want to do."

Billy Joe Saunders catches Norbert Sekeres © PA Photos

Billy Joe Saunders continued his climb up the ladder following injury with a first-round stoppage of Norbert Sekeres.

Saunders has had a couple of injuries since turning pro after the Olympic games, but he has been tipped to go a long way in the middleweight division and put away his Hungarian opponent with the minimum of fuss - the referee stopping the contest after a second knockdown.

"I didn't mean to stop it in the first round as I have a fight against Gary Boulden in three weeks," Saunders told BoxNation. "But it is hard for me with another opponent watching. We did not expect him to go in the first, but I caught him with a good shot and his legs went.

"I wanted five or six rounds as I am fighting in a few weeks, but that is boxing. If you catch him then that's it."

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