Super middleweight contender James DeGale has announced an immediate split from promoter Mick Hennessy.
‘Chunky’ went public with the decision on Friday after months of discontent, during which he made his frustrations known after Hennessy failed to deliver an immediate world title challenge.
Despite being installed as mandatory challenger to face WBC champion Sakio Bika, the southpaw will now seek pastures new, with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Sport looking a likely candidate.
It is the second time DeGale has found himself as a free agent, leaving Frank Warren back in early 2012 before joining up with Hennessy.
He is believed to have grown frustrated with the career progress of fellow Londoner George Groves since ‘Saint GG’ beat him on a slim majority decision in 2011, his sole defeat in 19 outings since turning professional.
While Groves battles it out with Carl Froch for two world titles in front of potentially 80,000 people at Wembley next month, DeGale has fallen way behind and failed to attract big names or sizeable crowds. Last time out the Hammersmith man defeated Gevorg Khatchikian, who brought a 20-0 record to the ring but was virtually unknown to even Britain’s more hardcore boxing fans.
The first job for DeGale’s new promoter is to negotiate for a WBC title fight, one he is expected to travel to the States for. Cameroonian fighter Bika is a former foe of Carl Froch and renowned for using dirty, underhand tactics in his fights.
Should the 28-year-old overcome Bika, he would make history as the first Olympic gold medalist from Britain to win a full world crown as a professional.
Hennessy Sports have yet to comment on the events, though they could well take legal action if they believe DeGale terminated his contract illegally.
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