James DeGale handed WBC lifeline following world title loss

WBN 15/01/2018

Frank Coppi

James DeGale is in line to potentially challenge the winner of David Benavidez v Ronald Gavril II having been rated in the Top 15 by the WBC in January.

The 31 year-old surprisingly lost his world super-middleweight title to Caleb Truax on December 9 of last year and is immediately ranked by the World Boxing Council due to his past achievements.

No organization places a world title holder due to association with their chosen title sanctioning body, although dropping the belt to Truax gave the WBC the opportunity to act.

A win over a fellow-contender in the Top 15 would then elevate DeGale into the Top 10, whilst being positioned at 11th in the latest list means the Briton could qualify for a voluntary shot.

Current champion Benavidez meets Gavril again on February 17 and DeGale will be an avid viewer knowing a summer title shot is now a possibility.

Rumors DeGale could be ready for a move up to 175 pounds, where old foe Badou Jack now resides, have also been present over the last month as ‘Chunky’ gets to grips with his first reverse since losing to George Groves way back in 2011.

A formal decision hasn’t been forthcoming from DeGale as of yet and it was confirmed post-fight that there was a rematch clause present in his deal with Truax despite initial reports to the contrary.

Current WBC super-middleweight Top 15:

1 Callum Smith (GB)
2 Chris Eubank Jr. (GB)
3 Anthony Dirrell (US)
4 Jessie Hart (US)
5 Ronald Gavril (Romania/US)
6 Rocky Fielding (GB) BBB C/COMM
7 Hadillah Mohoumadi (France) EBU
8 Juergen Braehmer (Germany) * CBP/P
9 Fedor Chudinov (Russia)
10 Avni Yildirim (Turkey) INTL
11 James DeGale (GB) * CBP/P
12 J’Leon Love (US)
13 Jayde Mitchell (Australia)
14 John Ryder (GB) * CBP/P
15 Vincent Feigenbutz (Germany) * CBP/P

*CBP = awaiting Clean Boxing Program paperwork