Promoter urges DeGale to be patient for world title bid
08:00 18 October 2012
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James DeGale’s new promoter believes the Harlesden star needs at least another year’s experience before he is ready to challenge for a world title.
DeGale boxed under the Hennessy Sports banner for the first time on Saturday as he successfully defended his European super-middleweight crown against Hadillah Mohoumadi.
The 26-year-old’s unanimous points victory took his professional record to 13 wins from 14 contests and promoter Mick Hennessy told london24.com: “I’m not going to throw him in without the right experience.
“My job is to hold James back now – he could fight for a world title soon but I want to make sure he gets the right experience so that when he does fight for a world title, he wins it easy and wins it in style.
“I think he’ll be ready in a year’s time, 18 months at worst. I’d like him to have another six or seven fights before then – he’s going to fight regularly.
“When James does fight for a world title he’ll look sensational because he will have been nurtured the right way.
“I think he’s world-class not only in his ability but in his entertainment value as well and that’s a powerful combination.
DeGale – who had boxed just once in almost a year prior to Saturday’s 12-rounder at Bluewater, Kent – was given a tough test by his French challenger.
The Londoner landed the classier punches throughout, notably stinging left hooks in the fifth, seventh and 10th rounds and signed off with a flamboyant array of blows.
Yet, while Mohoumadi soaked up the majority of DeGale’s shots and tucked the champion up on the ropes for long periods, the outcome was never in doubt.
The judges’ verdict went to DeGale 119-109, 117-111, 116-112 – but it was no surprise to Hennessy that his new signing was made to work hard for the win.
He added: “The fight was ideal for the fans and ideal for TV, not so ideal for me – my heart was pounding! I knew this kid was a real hard case from seeing the DVD of him.
“I said to James and [trainer] Jim [McDonnell] ‘I want you to box this kid, I don’t want you to sit and have a fight with him because he’s a real handful’.
“He got robbed senseless recently against a 24 and 0 Russian and I could see he was not only a dangerous European fighter, but a dangerous world fighter.
“But James not only used his beautiful boxing skills and hand speed, he outfought him as well in every department. He looked 10 million dollars.
“This was exactly what he needed and what it’ll do for his future is incredible. I can’t wait for his next fight now because that’s going to bring him on as a world-class athlete.”
The former Dale Youth ABC star is expected to return to the ring in December, with Monte Carlo the likely venue.
Meanwhile, DeGale’s long-standing super-middleweight rival George Groves has confirmed that he will defend his Commonwealth title against Glen Johnson, the former IBF world light-heavyweight champion, at London’s ExCel Centre in December.