James DeGale vacates IBF World title in bid to get ‘biggest fight’ of his career

James DeGale
James DeGale

James DeGale has vacated his IBF super-middleweight title to allow him to focus on “securing the biggest fights” available to him.

The 32-year-old became the first British Olympic gold medallist to win a professional world title when in 2015 he outpointed Andre Dirrell in Boston.

He had since impressively - and unusually - defended it largely on American soil, including drawing a unification fight with Badou Jack and reclaiming his title following an unexpected defeat by Caleb Truax in London, but is expected to conclude his career in the UK.

It seems he remains in contention to fight WBO middleweight champion and fellow 2008 Olympian Billy Joe Saunders at London’s 02 Arena on September 15.

He would also prove a logical opponent for the winner of the upcoming World Boxing Super Series final between WBA super-middleweight champion George Groves and challenger Callum Smith, or for domestic rival Chris Eubank Jnr.

“I have relinquished my IBF title as I look to secure big fights in the final chapter of my career,” DeGale wrote on social media.

“I’ve achieved so much, Olympic gold, British and European titles and becoming a two-time world champion.

“This is the final phase of my career where I want to be involved in the biggest fights possible.

“My team have been working very hard behind the scenes and we’ve got some exciting news to announce soon.”