James DeGale announces decision to drop IBF world title belt

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British super-middleweight boxer, and current IBF world title holder, James DeGale has made a shock decision to vacate the title in a bid to secure more lucrative fights, rather than face mandatory title challengers.

The 32-year old 2008 Olympic gold medalist has decided that as he approaches the latter stages of his career, he'd rather chase bigger fights, and logically, bigger purses than defend his IBF belt.

The move, a shock for the solitary belt-holders legion of fans, is not the first time a champion has surrendered a title in order to chase big-money fights, but it has surprised many. 

On 8.30am today, he revealed the news on his Twitter feed and explained his decision.

"Today I have relinquished my IBF World title as I look to secure big fights in the final chapter of my career," he wrote.

"I've achieved so much in my career, Olympic Gold, British, European and International titles and two-time World Champion."

He added: "This is the final phase of my career and 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 exciting news to announce soon."

The London-born southpaw teased his fans with what that exciting news could be, but one fight could be a match-up against WBO middleweight champion, and fellow Brit, Billy Joe Saunders. 

World Boxing News have reported that talks are underway regarding a potential rematch with George Groves, throwing his World Boxing Super Series final against Callum Smith into doubt,

There's also a chance that he could face the winner of the World Boxing Super Series final fight between George Groves and challenger Callum Smith.

'Chunky' DeGale won the IBF title back in February 2015, by beating American challenger Andre Dirrell. 

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The Briton went on to defend the IBF belt on three occasions, including a controversial draw against the highly regarded Swedish-born, American fighter Badou Jack.

The Londoner has a solid record, with 24 wins, the aforementioned draw and two losses from 27 fights.

DeGale won back his title in April of this year in a rematch of the shock defeat to Caleb Truax last December, but that was to be his final defence of the IBF title.

Where he goes next, remains to be seen. 

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