European Super Middleweight Champion 15 October 2011 Echo Arena in Liverpool
I am not James Degales biggest fan, but I have to say he fought a great fight against the then European Super Middle weight Champion Piotr Wilczewski. He was expected to win, and showed allot of heart against an opponent who had the potential to not give him an easy nights work. Degale picked off his opponent well with his straight jab, and only on one or two occasions did he get in any kind of trouble from the European champion who had travelled from Poland for this defence. In round 5 Degale seemed in desperate trouble, but hung on to re group in the corner with the very experienced and respected Jim McDonnell giving him sound instructions to come out again all guns blazing to have a bit of a toe to toe tear up with Wilczewski which is definitely not his fighting style at all. It’s usual for Degale to pick his opponents off with his long jabs from the outside and make his way into range and send bigger shots to the head and body What we witnessed was a new Degale who was prepared to go into the trenches and battle it out against a very durable opponent.
I had James well ahead on points and when the verdict was read it came as no surprise. We have a new European Champion in the UK and I am surprised to say that it was well deserved. Degale stated that he had an injury to his ear in round 5 and had to keep going, so respect to him on this, as it shows he has a champions heart. He did also say about a rematch with George Groves, but to be honest this could be flogging a dead horse as Groves has already beaten Degale in the amateur and professional circuit and now he is European Champion, there are many other worthy challengers out there he can fight, and hopefully beat!
I enjoyed this warm up on the Cleverly Bellew undercard and received comments from my friends in the USA who had never seen James fight before. It was all complimentary as he showed a great chin and more importantly, a great heart. I am now looking forward to his next outing as champion of europe. Bring it on!
My scorecard Degale 117- Wilczewski 112
Clubber rating 7/10