James Degale has made a huge statement to the boxing fraternity following his hugely impressive third round stoppage of the previously unstopped Mexican Marco Antonio Periban.
The 28-year-old is a former Olympic Gold Medallist from the Beijing games and took a huge risk in taking on the tough Periban, whilst knowing that he could have sat on his mandatory status and had a shot at the IBF world title in the near future.
DeGale earned the right to be mandatory challenger in May of this year on the undercard of the Wembley Arena rematch between Carl Froch and George Groves. Degale dispatched the Virgil Hunter-trained Brandon Gonzalez within four rounds and became the mandatory challenger to the title held by the aforementioned Froch.
Chunky wanted Echo Arena tune-up
DeGale wanted to keep busy whilst Froch ponders on his next step though, deciding to test himself against a man in Periban on who has only lost to Sakio Bika and J'Leon Love on points coming into the fight.
Periban had struggles to make the weight and came into the ring looking a little fleshy in the abdomen area. Rumours of having to take off significant amounts of weight in the week leading into the fight may well dim down DeGale's achievements, but they should not take away from how impressive the finish was.
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Switch hitting worked like a dream
DeGale went into the ring and tried to be the aggressor from the start, switching from his normal southpaw stance to his orthodox and back again,
The fight wasn't to last as long as many expected, with DeGale forcing the stoppage in just the third round. DeGale forced Periban back and unleashed two big right hands, which sent the Mexican falling to the canvas.
The referee stepped in and waved off the contest, deeming Periban unable to continue. Some may suggest that that stoppage was a tad early but Periban was clearly in trouble and could have been on the end of dangerous punches had the fight been allowed to continue.
Emphatic win makes a big statement
This was the first stoppage Perban has endured in his career and shows the potential that for so many years was allowed to go unnoticed on small promotional cards.
This was a huge fight for Degale and the emphatic nature of the victory will have shown the world what the slick stylist is really about.
Carl Froch was working for Sky Sports on the bill and must have been impressed by Deale's emphatic win. Something that would not have gone down well with Froch was DeGale labelling him as a coward.
Froch has faced off with the best in the world fight after fight and to call him a coward is just ridiculous. There is no chance that Froch is going to be scared of fighting DeGale and saying so is pure delusion.
Coward call was a low blow
Froch seems to have his heart stuck on a fight in Las Vegas with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr and if the fight cannot be agreed then retirement looks like the most likely option for Froch.
Instead it appears as though DeGale will fight for the vacant title early next year. DeGale has shown that he has great ability and that he has all the tools to become a world champion.
He will be looking to follow on from this knock out performance and fulfil his dreams. DeGale has worked hard to move his way up the world rankings and he is more than deserving of his mandatory status.
DeGale took the risk and this time it worked out perfectly for him and he will now fight for a world title in his next fight.