James DeGale explains decision to vacate IBF super-middleweight title as new champion is crowned
James DeGale has shed light on his decision to vacate the super-middleweight title in pursuit of a massive fight in the near future.
As WBN reported on Wednesday, contact has been made for a possible rematch with George Groves despite the Londoner being locked into a clash with Callum Smith in the World Boxing Super Series.
Groves v DeGale II is firmly in the minds of both fighters and could take place by the spring of 2019 if the Smith fight goes ahead as planned for the Ali Trophy.
Opening up on his difficult choice to leave the belt he held on two occasions behind, DeGale is ready to seal a blockbuster battle before he hangs up his gloves.
“No World champion easily gives up their World title that they’ve earned the hard way in the ring and I’ve proudly held the IBF World title in two reigns with pride and distinction which is why it makes it very hard decision to relinquish the belt,” said DeGale.
“It has been a pleasure to work with the IBF and I would like to thank president Daryl Peoples for allowing me to challenge and hold the distinguished belt that so many of the division’s great champions have held before for me.
“It has been a honour to be recognised as the IBF World Champion and I hope that by now vacating it will ease the transition to determine a successor.
“I’ve achieved so much in my career, Olympic Gold, British, European and International titles and two-time World Champion and I believe I’m at the top of my game right now.
“I’m in the final phase of my career where I have a few good years left where I can be involved in massive fights and really leave a legacy in the division’s history.
“My team have been working very hard behind the scenes and we’ve got some very big and exciting news to announce soon,” he added.
‘Chunky’ has not only been linked to Groves but to another all-UK clash with Billy Joe Saunders. Chris Eubank Jr. is also said to be an option for DeGale.
Meanwhile, the IBF informed WBN on Wednesday evening that mandatory challenger and interim belt holder Jose Uzcategui would be promoted to full champion.